“I spoke last night with the first minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect. Serving in government has been a huge privilege and I am sorry to have let colleagues and supporters down.”
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Sturgeon said Mackay’s membership of the SNP had also been suspended.
Mackay, who has two sons, had been due to deliver the Scottish government’s draft budget for 2020-21 at Holyrood on Thursday. It will instead be presented by Mackay’s deputy, Kate Forbes.
The Sun reported that Mackay, who disclosed he was gay after his marriage ended in 2013, befriended the teenager on Facebook and Instagram and sent him unsolicited messages.
The paper said the teenager’s mother was furious. “I worry about what would have happened if my son had sent him back a message he wanted to hear,” she said.
Sturgeon 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. Derek has made a significant contribution to government. However, he recognises that his behaviour has failed to meet the standards required.”
16 is the age of consent. The bloke wasn’t a teacher or summat in a direct position of power over the kid. Why shouldn’t they get jiggy?