9th FEB 2020
8th FEB 2020
“The former Finance Minister was a close associate of Scott Barclay, 39, who swiped £10,000 from a bank he worked at to pay off a revenge porn blackmailer.”
A year ago I visited Holyrood with my bereaved Mother @HeleneG46816352 & the courageous Kenny Campbell. We met with @JoeFitzSNP & 5 of his @scotgov colleagues in Derek MacKays office. 1/4 https://t.co/AQp5GAwwwB
— Michelle Gray (@michellegray75) February 8, 2020
7th FEB 2020
The Scottish government faces fresh questions about the Derek Mackay scandal after it emerged it challenged the Sun’s right to publish revelations about his private messages with a schoolboy.
Mackay resigned on Wednesday night after the Sun told him and Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, it was publishing some of the 270 messages he sent to the 16-year-old between August last year and 1 February.
Mackay told the unnamed schoolboy he was “really cute”, invited him to dinner and to a Scottish parliament event.
Opposition leaders and senior Scottish National party figures said the messages were tantamount to grooming, and predatory.
Sturgeon said in a statement on Thursday: “I think the conduct is unacceptable and I will not make any attempt to say otherwise or to minimise in any way its seriousness. Based on what I knew about this last night, it was clear to me then that Derek Mackay’s conduct fell far short of what is expected of a minister.”
Sturgeon, who is also the SNP leader, told MSPs that Mackay had been suspended from the party. “I say very clearly that I am not aware of any further allegations or any conduct of a similar nature,” she added.
As further claims about Mackay’s private life came to light, it emerged that on Wednesday Sturgeon’s office had disputed the Sun’s right to publish the story.
Mackay, until then her highly trusted and powerful finance secretary, was due to deliver the Scottish government’s annual budget on Thursday afternoon, setting out billions of pounds in new spending.
Two hours after it alerted Sturgeon’s office to the story, the Sun said, her office emailed the paper to claim that publication could be an intrusion into private and family life. The email asked for a guarantee the messages were obtained legally and said the Sun was morally obliged to pass them all to the government.
The email said: “Given you yourself state that there is nothing illegal or unlawful in the messages, can you advise on your justification for publication, given the intrusion into private and family life, and correspondence including digital communication.”
The Sun was asked to confirm in writing “that the material has been obtained by legitimate means”, and for “the material you are basing this story on to be emailed across to us as soon as possible”.
The government said the Sun had a “moral obligation to share this material in order for us to be in a position to offer any form of substantive response or view”.
The Sun insisted that Alan Muir, its Scottish editor, had read out the most significant and damaging messages to Sturgeon’s office in two 15-minute phone conversations at 5.50pm and 6.40pm.
Sturgeon’s officials believed they were justified in asking these questions, and in asking for written evidence, because of the seriousness and significance of the allegations.
Mackay was allowed to resign later that evening and the Scottish government refused to provide the paper with a response. The Sun published its main story online at 11pm on Wednesday.
Until 2018 Mackay was the SNP’s national chairman and business convenor, and in charge of running party conferences. There was gossip within the party about his flirtatious behaviour after hours during conference.
The Record reported that Mackay had sent private Facebook messages to a 21-year-old activist, Shaun Cameron, in September 2017 asking whether he had any “naughty pictures” and suggesting they meet at Mackay’s Edinburgh flat.
Another former SNP staff member told the Herald that Mackay was ordered by Sturgeon to stop partying and drinking at conferences after his behaviour was discussed in internal meetings. He allegedly quipped during one conference in 2017 that delegates would not see him in the bar that night because “Nicola won’t let me”.
Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative leader, said the allegations raised substantial questions for the Scottish government and SNP to answer. “It’s vital the SNP leadership, instead of spinning, acts to establish a complete picture,” Carlaw said.
“There has been a collective failure of leadership both from the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the current SNP business convener, Kirsten Oswald. Both now need to respond and act with far greater urgency and understanding.”
The government could have set up a hotline to report other concerns about Mackay’s conduct, he added. The Scottish parliament did so after allegations about misconduct by MSPs emerged in 2018.
An SNP spokesperson said: “Derek Mackay has been suspended from both the parliamentary group and the party while further investigation takes place. In the interests of due process, no further comment will be made.”
Mackay has been approached for comment.
Nicola Sturgeon ‘banned shamed Derek Mackay from drinking at SNP conferences’ https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18217581.nicola-sturgeon-banned-shamed-derek-mackay-drinking-snp-conferences/
Police plea as finance minister Derek Mackay is exposed. “Mr Mackay, 42, regarded by many as a potential party leader, had previously championed a campaign to protect teenagers from online harassment.
He had also said that meeting schoolchildren was one of the favourite parts of his job and wrote to head teachers saying that he was keen to go to as many schools as possible. He also issued an open invitation for pupils to visit Holyrood.” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/police-plea-as-finance-minister-derek-mackay-is-exposed-f936p0bzh
6th FEB 2020
PAY-OUT Derek Mackay to receive £12k ‘golden goodbye’ resettlement cash after quitting job over schoolboy text scandal https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/5256261/derek-mackay-golden-goodbye-resettlement-money/
Derek Mackay has resigned as the Scottish finance secretary with immediate effect following allegations he sent inappropriate messages to a teenage boy.
The 42-year-old is alleged to have called the schoolboy ‘cute’ in one of around 270 private messages sent between the pair over Facebook and Instagram during a six-month exchange.
It comes just hours before he was due to set out the Government’s £43 billion spending plans at Holyrood.
The Scottish Sun reported Mackay began messaging the boy last August and continued despite being informed he was only 16.
The boy’s mother called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to sack Mr Mackay and launch a full investigation.
However, in a statement issued on Thursday morning, Mr Mackay said he took “full responsibility” for his actions and stood down.
In a statement, he 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 Minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect.”
He added: “Serving in government has been a huge privilege and I am sorry to have let colleagues and supporters down.”
Mr Mackay is said to have asked “Are our chats between us?” before telling the teen: “I think you are really cute.”
He is also alleged to have asked the youngster to help him deliver campaign leaflets and offered to let him ‘stay for dinner’ afterwards.
Public finance minister Kate Forbes is now expected to deliver the budget later on Thursday.
Accepting Mr Mackay’s resignation, the First Minister said: “Derek has taken full responsibility for his actions and apologises unreservedly for them to the individual involved and to those he has let down.”
“He has submitted his resignation as a government minister which I have accepted.”
She added: “Derek has made a significant contribution to government, however he recognises that his behaviour has failed to meet the standards required.
“The Minister for Public Finance, Kate Forbes, will present today’s Scottish Government budget setting out our actions to support the economy, back our people and public services and tackle the climate crisis, and that remains my government’s focus.”
A SCOTTISH MP tipped as the next First Minister told a schoolboy he was “cute” and invited him to dinner while bombarding him with 270 online messages.
SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, 42, pestered the lad, 16, in private on Instagram and Facebook over six months after contacting him out of the blue.
The boy’s furious mum called for Nicola Sturgeon to sack the cabinet minister, while a leading abuse expert said police should investigate.
The mother said: “A man like that is not supposed to say these sort of things to a boy.”
The boy’s mum accused Mr Mackay of targeting her son after it emerged the Holyrood chief sent him the messages despite knowing he was 16.
The Finance Secretary asked the fresh-faced teenager to dinner and offered to make him his guest at a parliament rugby event after befriending him out of the blue on Facebook and Instagram.
The openly-gay dad of two — who came out in 2013 when leaving his wife — liked snaps of the rugger-mad youngster in his sports gear and even pinged direct messages to him on Christmas Day.
But even after the boy revealed he was just 16 and told Mr Mackay not to “try anything”, the MSP — bookies’ favourite to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister — didn’t back off and bombarded him with messages until this month.
And in one conversation, the politician asks: “Are our chats between us?” before telling the teen: “I think you are really cute.”
The boy’s outraged mum, 37, who only learned of the creepy exchanges last week, told of her horror at seeing Mr Mackay appearing to flirt with her son.
She said: “If I could speak to him, I would ask him ‘Why? Why did you do this?’
“I worry about what would have happened if my son had sent him back a message he wanted to hear.
“You can see he tries again and again — like he is trying to get my son to change his mind about something. He is trying to see how much he can push it.”
The conversations began last August when the SNP big gun — due to deliver Holyrood’s £43billion Budget in parliament today — sent a private greeting to the lad as he was preparing to go into S5.
In one of their first chats, Mr Mackay offered to pay for the boy to go to a rugby game, saying: “I could take you?”
In a midnight exchange starting at 12.03am on Friday, December 27, messages show the MSP telling the lad: “You are looking good with that new haircut.”
The youngster replies: “Thanks, needed a change. Long hair was getting annoying.”
Mr Mackay, who lives with his boyfriend in Bishopton, posts back: “Cute. You don’t mind compliments.”
The boy says: “Not at all.”
And then Mr Mackay says: “Good. And our chats are between us?”
The boy agrees and Mr Mackay adds: “Cool, then to be honest I think you are really cute.
“Is that Ok? Just as long as you know but you can delete that message. Lol.” The boy did not delete the message.
In another exchange on Sunday, September 8, the boy claims Mr Mackay revealed his sexuality before deleting the post.
A note saying a message has been deleted shows up on Facebook messenger at this point.
The schoolboy responded politely, telling the MSP: “As long as you’re not trying anything I don’t mind you being gay.”
And Mr Mackay replies: “Perfect.”
The Scottish Sun has seen full details of the conversations which began on Thursday, August 2, 2019, when Mr Mackay sent a ‘Hey’ note at 8.18am via Instagram.
The teenager told The Scottish Sun that before the unexpected social media contact, he had no idea who the politician was.
Mr Mackay, Renfrewshire North and West MSP, initially exchanged pleasantries with the lad on August 3 on Instagram where the politician told him it was “nice to chat”.
At the end of the conversation the boy asked: “Are you not a politician?” Mr Mackay replied: “Aye.”
Mr Mackay then attempted to engage him in conversation on nine occasions — switching from Instagram to Facebook — between August 8 and 30.
And on September 8 he tried to make contact again, this time asking the boy, whose profile contains rugby pics: “Do you follow scottish rugby nations.”
Messages show the boy is clear about his age, telling Mr Mackay in September he is 16 and at school.
The offer to take the boy to a rugby game came as he quizzed the youngster about the sport, saying: “You might have to explain the rules before I go.”
The lad replies: “It’s really hard to explain it by text. It’s a lot easier to explain it while watching a match.”
Mr Mackay posts back: “Is that an invite lol.”
The teen dismisses the idea, saying: “Don’t have the money for that.”
But Mr Mackay then offers: “I could take you?” The boy then says he “wouldn’t mind that” and the MSP immediately asks: “What’s your mobile.”
Within minutes of receiving the number Mr Mackay is said to have sent a text to the youngster from his long-held mobile number, verified by The Scottish Sun. He later sent a separate text to the boy, which we have seen.
In a further chat in October Mr Mackay asks the lad to help him deliver campaign leaflets.
He tells Mr Mackay he would need to get home before 8pm to which the politician says: “Oh you will be finished long before then.
The MSP then sends a follow-up message, asking “Unless you wanted to stay for dinner lol.”
But the boy says that “My mum would get worried” and does not accept — or go to deliver leaflets — despite Mr Mackay appearing to put pressure on him.
“Cool, then to be honest I think you are really cute.” – Derek Mackay
The SNP big gun tells him: “I do finance and the economy.”
He then asks: “You are pro independence yeah?”
The boy replies: “Don’t really have an opinion tbh.”
On December 16, Mr Mackay gets in touch again and tells the lad he will be hosting a Scottish Rugby Union reception at Holyrood which he says was taking place on January 8.
He tells the boy: “I think I will do that rugby event.”
The lad replies: “Great to hear.” Mr Mackay adds: “And you can be my guest.”
Mr Mackay even took time out on Christmas Day to contact the boy, sending a string of messages including one just before midnight that said: “You still up.”
The minister continued to contact him over the festive period including a message which appears to have been sent when the MSP was at the gym.
And on December 27, he ramped up comments with the “cute” remarks.
Since then, the boy has not replied, despite receiving 12 messages from the Nat up until five days ago.
The lad says he accidentally posted a thumbs-up when scrolling through chats on January 31, but quickly deleted it.
The boy’s raging mum said: “Inside, I have always been afraid of what can happen on social media — but I never really thought something like this would happen to him.
“When I finally found out what was going on I was furious.
“A man like that is not supposed to say these sort of things to a boy — he looks like he wants something from my son. When I finally read the messages it was terrifying and made my stomach turn. My son’s friends, his girlfriend, can say he is cute — but not this strange man.
“When he asks my son if it’s OK to call him cute he was then waiting for an answer.
“He was looking for a positive response to see if he can take it further. But he didn’t get a reply and then he seems confused and worried about what he’s said.”
The mother told how the first she knew of the chats was when her son “mentioned a politician had invited him to a rugby reception at the parliament”.
She went on: “I just thought ‘that sounds good’ and assumed he’d be going with his friends and team-mates.
“I said it would be good to meet some important people because it could help you in the future.
“Every time he goes somewhere I have a chat with him because I want to protect him. But what can I do when someone contacts him on social media on Christmas Day?
“It’s very upsetting this was going on and I didn’t know anything about it.”
When asked what action she believes should be taken against Mr Mackay, the mum added: “Nicola Sturgeon should remove him from his position.
“I don’t know if he should lose his job but he should be dealt with very seriously. I hope he can take lessons from this situation and something must happen that forces him to think about what he’s done.”
The boy said: “He should be made to apologise, not just to me but to everyone else who has been let down by this. I think he should be sacked to be honest.”
The Scottish Government declined to comment.