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Derek Mackay faces second wave of texting allegations
7 February 2020, 11:36
A 25-year-old SNP activist has alleged that former Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay sent him dozens of unwanted messages over a period of four years.
Shaun Cameron, 25, told the Daily Record that Mr Mackay sent him "quite suggestive" messages after contacting him on Facebook following a meeting at an SNP event when he was 21.
The allegations emerged a day after Mr Mackay, 42, resigned as finance secretary and was suspended from the SNP following reports he sent hundreds of messages to a 16-year-old boy.
Mr Cameron, who is straight, alleges that in January 2017 Mr Mackay asked "Are these conversations just between us?" and, when the younger man said yes, invited him to stay over in Edinburgh.
In September that year Mr Mackay allegedly asked "Got any naughty pics?"
The SNP activist got married last year and said he ignored the messages, which tailed off for a period, but he received more at the end of last year.
Mr Cameron told the newspaper: "I told my wife about it. She was angry but I kind of turned a blind eye. I'm an SNP supporter so it was difficult for me to admit that this was bad."
He added: "I often felt 'I'd better say hello back'. If he wasn't a senior politician I would have blocked him on Facebook."
Mr Mackay, a father-of-two who came out as gay in 2013, quit as finance secretary hours before he was due to deliver the Budget after the Scottish Sun reported that he sent 270 messages to a 16-year-old boy he befriended on Facebook and Instagram.
Mr Mackay accepted that he had "behaved foolishly" as he apologised unreservedly to the teenager and his family.
In one message, he is alleged to have asked the boy: "And our chats are between us?"
When the youngster agreed, Mr Mackay told him: "Cool, then, to be honest, I think you are really cute."
The newspaper alleges that he contacted the teenager over a six-month period and offered to take him to a rugby game and out to dinner.
The MSP has been suspended from both the SNP and the SNP parliamentary group at Holyrood pending further investigation.
Announcing his resignation on Thursday, Mr 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 Minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect."
The Renfrewshire North and West MSP added: "Serving in Government has been a huge privilege and I am sorry to have let colleagues and supporters down."
Speaking at Holyrood on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Members will be aware that I have accepted the resignation of Derek Mackay as finance secretary.
"Derek Mackay has apologised unreservedly for his conduct and recognised, as I do, that it was unacceptable and falls seriously below the standard required of a minister."