POLICE SCOTLAND INTERVIEW BOY IN MACKAY CASE

Mackay, Sturgeon and the Council HQ in Dumbarton.

By Bill Heaney and BBC Scotland reporters

Police have spoken to a 16-year-old schoolboy sent hundreds of social media messages by Scotland’s former finance secretary Derek Mackay.

Police Scotland said that while it had not “received any complaint of criminality”, it was “assessing available information”.

Mackay resigned as finance secretary hours before he was due to present the Scottish budget.

Police have appealed to others with information to come forward.

It followed claims, first published in The Scottish Sun, that Mackay sent 270 messages to the boy over a six-month period on Instagram and Facebook.

‘Should be highlighted’

The youngster has since told the paper: “I was happy to speak to the police and will tell them everything that happened.

“I didn’t think what he was doing was a crime, but I knew it was wrong and should be highlighted.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We have not received any complaint of criminality, however we are currently assessing available information.

“We would encourage anyone with information to please come forward.

“Police Scotland will always listen to anyone who wishes to seek advice or formally report a matter to us.”

Since the scandal broke McKay has deleted or restricted access to his social media accounts.

Mackay – who has also been suspended from the SNP pending investigation – is reported to have called the youngster “cute” as well as offering to take him to a rugby game and out to dinner.

Opposition politicians, principally Tory leader Jackson Carla\w, have condemned what they described as “predatory” behaviour from Mackay – who had been tipped as a future successor to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – saying the messages amounted to “grooming”.

Mackay, a father-of-two who came out as gay in 2013, has not been seen in public since the story broke on Wednesday night.

‘Behaved foolishly’

It was later reported that the Renfrewshire North and West MSP had also sent dozens of unwanted messages to an SNP activist over a period of four years.

Shaun Cameron, 25, told the Daily Record on Friday that the MSP contacted him on Facebook after meeting him at an SNP event when he was 21. He said some of the messages were “quite suggestive” – alleging the then finance secretary had asked him in September 2017: “Got any naughty pics?”

Ms Sturgeon confirmed to MSPs at Holyrood on Thursday that she had accepted Mackay’s resignation from government – saying his behaviour had fallen “seriously below the standard required of a minister”.

In his resignation statement, Mr Mackay accepted he had “behaved foolishly” and he apologised unreservedly to the teenage boy and his family.

He said at the time: “I take full responsibility for my actions. I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry.”

He remains an MSP but is facing mounting calls to resign.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s budget is due to be presented to the Council on Wednesday. It was delayed because of the General Election in December and because they were waiting for MacKay to make an announcement before they went ahead.


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