Derek Mackay: Rising star of the SNP forced into government resignation

Derek Mackay, 42, stepped down hours before he was due to unveil his Budget for 2020-21

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Scotland's Finance Secretary has resigned after allegations emerged that he befriended a teenage boy online.

Derek Mackay, 42, stepped down hours before he was to unveil his Budget for 2020-21, after a newspaper reported he sent hundreds of messages to the 16-year-old.

It comes more than two decades after he began his career in politics, being elected as a councillor in Renfrewshire in 1999.

It made him the youngest male councillor in Scotland, having been elected at just 21.

Mr Mackay went on to become leader of the council's SNP group, and took them into power in the area for the first time in 2007- at which point he became leader of the council.

He became the SNP group leader at Cosla - the organisation which represents Scotland's local authorities.

In 2011, Mr Mackay was elected to Holyrood as MSP for Renfrewshire North and West.

That same year he joined the Scottish Government, becoming minister for local government and planning.

A reshuffle after Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister in 2014 saw him appointed Transport Minister.

He was further promoted to the Cabinet after the 2016 Scottish election, taking the job of Finance and Economy Secretary.

During his time as Finance Secretary, he was responsible for introducing new Scottish income tax rates, including a new "starter rate" set at 19p for lower earners.

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