Derek Mackay makes first public appearance after texting scandal

FORMER Scottish Finance Minister Derek Mackay has made his first public appearance since resigning after sending predatory messages to a schoolboy.

The Renfrewshire North and West MSP has faced calls to quit his role at Holyrood amid criticism that, prior to the coronavirus lockdown, he was still collecting his salary without fulfilling duties such as attending surgeries for his constituents.

Mackay resigned in February following reports he had bombarded a 16-year-old schoolboy with 270 predatory messages.

In the messages, Mackay is reported to have called the boy “cute”.

A number of young men have since come forward to say that they too received inappropriate or creepy messages from the man once tipped to be the next First Minister.

Now The Gazette has revealed that Mackay has “resurfaced” after issuing a statement in support of workers at the Rolls-Royce factory in Inchinnan who face losing their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around 700 staff at the Renfrewshire plant – more than half of its 1,300-strong workforce – will be axed, with Rolls-Royce chiefs hoping this can be achieved through voluntary redundancy.

READ MORE: Meet your new Scottish Cabinet after Derek Mackay resignation

Mackay said: “This is devastating news for employees at Rolls-Royce, Inchinnan.

“I have raised the concern about job losses with the company and the Scottish Government and, clearly, the UK Government has a duty to act swiftly too.

READ MORE: Rolls-Royce to lay off 700 workers at Inchinnan factory

“The Renfrewshire workforce cannot be sacrificed because of the current economic situation, when the expertise and performance of the plant is not in question.

“I urge the company and governments to work to find a resolution to save the jobs which are affected.”

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