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Scotland's finance minister quits over messages to teenager

EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL
A person uses a computer displaying the Thai Facebook login page in Bangkok, Thailand, 09 May 2017. According to reports, Facebook has agreed to comply with Thai Government requests to restrict access to content on its site that violates Thai laws.

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Hours before he was due to deliver next year’s budget, Scotland’s finance secretary, Derek Mackay, resigned over a report in Scottish media that he had been sending messages to a 16-year-old boy.
Mackay apologized in a statement, saying he took “full responsibility” for his “foolish” actions: “I apologize unreservedly to the individual involved and his family. I spoke last night with the First Minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect,” he said.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, accepted the resignation, saying that Mackay “has made a significant contribution to government, however he recognizes that his behaviour has failed to meet the standards required”.
Mackay also apologized to his supporters for letting them down: “Serving in government has been a huge privilege and I am sorry to have let colleagues and supporters down”.
Scottish media published the full text exchanges with the boy, whom Mackay allegedly befriended on social media Facebook and Instagram.
Sturgeon also said that Mackay had been suspended from the Scottish National Party (SNP): “I can also advise that this morning he has been suspended from both the SNP and our parliamentary group pending further investigation”, she said.
The SNP has been involved in similar controversies in the past. Alex Salmond, Sturgeon’s predecessor as first minister, and former leader of the SNP, is due to stand trial next month on charges including sexual assault and attempted rape against 10 women.

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