Scottish Finance Secretary Quits Hours Before Budget Speech

(Bloomberg) -- Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay resigned just hours before delivering his budget speech after a newspaper report emerged claiming he sent inappropriate messages to a 16-year-old boy on social media.

The resignation was accepted by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a spokesman for the government said by phone from Edinburgh on Thursday. The 2020-21 budget speech will now be delivered by Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes.

The Scottish Sun earlier reported that the 42-year-old Mackay had contacted the boy “out of the blue” and sent him hundreds of messages via the Instagram and Facebook social media platforms.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Mackay said in emailed statement. “I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry.”

Sturgeon, who is leading her Scottish National Party’s drive for a second vote on Scotland splitting away from the rest of the United Kingdom, welcomed Mackay’s contribution to government but said “his behaviour has failed to meet the standards required.”

Forbes is scheduled to present Scotland’s budget from about 3 p.m. in Edinburgh.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.