A Scottish politician – favoured to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister – has announced his resignation on Thursday following reports that he had harassed a teenager on the Internet.
According to the Scottish edition of The Sun newspaper, Derek Mackay, 42, prominent member of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), repeatedly used Instagram to contact a 16-year-old whom he did not know personally. He sent him 270 messages on the social network since August 2019.
He allegedly told him he was “cute,” invited him to dinner, and did not stop when the teenager told him his age. It is the boy’s mother who raised the alarm.
“I take full responsibility for my actions. I acted foolishly, and am very sorry,” MacKay said in a statement.
“I apologize unreservedly to both the individual and his family,” he added, saying he presented his “resignation with immediate effect” on Wednesday to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who accepted it. “He has made a significant contribution to the government, but he recognizes that his behaviour is not up to the required standards,” Sturgeon said.
The Brussels Times