Former finance secretary Derek Mackay quits SNP after suspension | Scottish National Party (SNP)

The former Scottish Finance Secretary has resigned from the Scottish National Party after being suspended for messages he sent to a teenager.

Derek Mackay resigned as finance secretary hours before presenting the Scottish budget on February 6 last year following reports that he had sent hundreds of messages to a 16-year-old on the social networks.

The Scottish Sun reported Mackay befriended the teenager on Facebook and Instagram and sent him 270 messages.

Renfrewshire North and West MSP was suspended from the SNP pending further investigation, but continued to sit as an independent.

He told the party he was resigning to “focus on restoring my sanity and serving my constituents.”

An SNP spokesman said: “Derek Mackay has resigned from his SNP membership, bringing the matter to an end. As was widely reported last year, Mr Mackay was receiving mental health support and , therefore, the disciplinary measures have been suspended. We wish him the best of luck in his recovery.”

Mackay wrote to the SNP National Secretary earlier this week to inform the party of his decision. In the letter, he wrote: “I am writing to confirm that I am not seeking membership in the SNP and that I continue to focus on restoring my mental health and serving my constituents.”

Announcing his resignation on Budget Day last year, Mackay admitted he had “behaved stupidly” and apologized “unreservedly” to the person involved and his family.

Police Scotland investigated the messages sent by Mackay to the teenager and concluded that no crime had been committed.