Politics

Shamed MSP Derek Mackay speaks publicly for first time since text message scandal

Shamed MSP Derek Mackay has spoken publicly for the first time after he quit his senior Scottish Government role over a text message scandal involving a 16-year-old schoolboy. 

Despite clinging onto his £63,579-a-year Holyrood job, he’s not taken part in any Scottish Parliament business and has hardly been seen in public since his behaviour was exposed in February.

But earlier today the 42-year-old former finance minister spoke out about plans by Rolls-Royce to axe 700 jobs at their site in Inchinnan which is in his Renfrewshire constituency.

The firm wants to shed 9,000 jobs across the workforce as it struggles to cope with a downturn in work due to the coronavirus.

In quotes in the Paisley Daily Express, Mackay said: “I have raised the concern about job losses with the company and the Scottish Government and, clearly, the UK Government has a duty to act swiftly too.

“The Renfrewshire workforce cannot be sacrificed because of the current economic situation, when the expertise and performance of the plant is not in question.

“I urge the company and governments to work to find a resolution to save the jobs which are affected.”

Mackay quit as a minister after it was revealed he had contacted the boy on social media last August without knowing his age.

He then bombarded the teenager with unwanted messages over six months. These included calling him “cute” and inviting him for a meeting.

He also asked for the conversations to be kept a secret.

Mackay had been unavailable for comment since he made a public apology to the boy and his family.

Police had launched an investigation into the incident but Mackay was found not to have committed a criminal offence.



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