Derek Mackay claims more than £8,500 in parliamentary expenses since resigning in disgrace
Derek Mackay has claimed more than £8,500 in parliamentary expenses since he resigned in disgrace.
The former finance secretary quit on the eve of the Scottish budget on February 6 after it was revealed he had pestered a 16-year-old boy with messages.
It was reported he sent the school boy 270 messages over six months and even wrote calling him “cute”.
Now months on from being forced to quit, it has emerged Mr Mackay is continuing to take money from the public, including £995 a month in rent.
Across February and March he claimed £1,990 for two months’ rent, and the same amount in April and June.
This was followed by £663.50 for council tax and £41.32 for utility bills.
It means £4,684.82 of the total claimed since his resignation has been for accommodation near a Parliament he no longer works in.
His April to June expense claims also include £1,125 for office rent, and £344.10 for miscellaneous office costs.
Scottish Tory MSP Annie Wells blasted the revelations.
She said: “It is shocking the former SNP Cabinet secretary has totted up over £8,000 in expenses when hide nor hair has been seen of him in Parliament.
“Derek MacKay is given this money to help represent his constituents. There is no evidence he is, following a disappearance that would impress Harry Houdini.
“If he can’t do his job and turn up to Parliament, he should resign instead of hiding at home while claiming expenses and an MSP salary."
Earlier this year it emerged Mr Mackay had claimed £327 for accommodation despite failing to show up in Holyrood.
The Scottish Parliament was in recess at the time, although MSPs did sit on one of the ten days involved for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to update them on the coronavirus pandemic.
Since he remains an MSP, Mr Mackay is entitled to claim under Holyrood’s Edinburgh accommodation provision and there is no rule that he must attend Parliament to do so.
He issued a statement at the time of the scandal, apologising "unreservedly" to the boy and resigned from the Cabinet.
Police later concluded there was "nothing to suggest that an offence has been committed".
The SNP suggested in March that Mr Mackay was "under medical supervision".
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.