EDINBURGH, Scotland, February 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Scotland’s Finance Secretary, a firm supporter of LGBT education for schools, stepped down in the wake of allegations that he attempted to groom a 16-year-old boy over the internet.
Police are asking the public to come forward with any information pertaining to the scandal.
Derek MacKay, 42, was considered a possible successor to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. He has now been suspended from the ruling Scottish National Party, and his political future is uncertain.
A story about the Finance Secretary appeared in the Scottish Sun this morning, carrying transcripts of MacKay’s texted conversations with the teenager over Facebook and Instagram. The then-Finance Secretary contacted the young man several times between August 2019 and February 1, 2020.
In his most blatant messages, the politician complimented the boy’s haircut and said, “To be honest, I think you are really cute.”
The texts make it clear that MacKay knew the boy was only 16, that the boy knew MacKay was a powerful politician, and that the boy did not reciprocate the Finance Secretary’s interest. There were multiple days in which McKay’s invitations to chat went unanswered.
In September, MacKay asked the boy if he followed Scottish rugby games, and when the boy said he did, MacKay suggested that they go to one together. He may have disclosed to the boy that he was homosexual. The boy told the Sun that McKay erased that message, but the newspaper published the boy’s reply, which was “As long as your not trying anything with me I don’t mind u being gay.”
Subsequently, MacKay continued to try to engage the boy’s interest with chat about rugby and suggested that the boy come along to a reception for rugby players in Scottish parliament. He eventually complimented the boy on his haircut.
In a statement today, the disgraced politician 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 to the First Minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect.”
In 2013, MacKay separated from his wife and announced that he was homosexual. He is also a supporter of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) initiative for Scottish schools. The TIE program is meant to include LGBT ideology throughout school curricula.
Richard Lucas, the leader of the pro-life Scottish Family Party, told LifeSiteNews that MacKay’s support for TIE and behavior may be linked.
“It’s yet another example of someone who is influencing education in Scotland, and it turns out that their personal values are less than positive,” he said.
The timing of the revelations is particularly bad for the Scottish National Party. MacKay was supposed to deliver Scotland’s budget today, a major event on the parliamentary calendar. Also, the SNP’s former leader, and Scotland’s former First Minister, Alex Salmond will be tried on sexual assault charges in March.
Scotland’s interim Conservative leader, Jackson Carlaw, demanded that MacKay step down as the Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Renfrewshire North and West and read the definition of “grooming.” He asked First Minister Sturgeon what assurances there were that this is the “only example” of MacKay’s “unacceptable behavior.”