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06 February 2020
Derek Mackay resigns as finance secretary

Parliament TV

Derek Mackay resigns as finance secretary

Mackay said he "takes full responsibility" for his "foolish actions". The budget will instead be delivered by Kate Forbes

Derek Mackay has resigned as finance secretary on the day the Scottish budget is to be delivered, after claims emerged that he had been messaging a 16-year-old boy on social media over a period of six months. 

In a statement, Mackay said: "I take full responsibility for my actions. I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry."

"I apologise unreservedly to the individual involved and his family.

"I spoke last night with the First Minsiter and tendered my resignation with immediate effect.

"Serving in government has been a huge privilege and I am sorry to have let down colleagues and supporters down."

Claims published in The Scottish Sun newspaper involve the former minister sending messages to a 16-year-old boy, who it is alleged he had contacted "out of the blue".

Mackay appeared to have told the boy he was "cute" and invited him to a parliament event. 

The behaviour came to light on the morning that Mackay was due to set the Scottish budget, which he said would be a "transformational budget, investing in the environment and the economy".

Kate Forbes, the minister for public finance and digital economy, will deliver the tax and spend plans now instead. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had accepted Mackay's resignation, adding: "Derek has made a significant contribution to government, however he recognises that his behaviour has failed to meet the standards required."

Mackay had held the position of cabinet secretary for finance, economy and fair work since 2016.

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