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Derek Mackay claimed thousands in expenses after quitting Cabinet

By PA News
The former finance secretary resigned after communication with a 16-year-old boy became public (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scotland’s former finance secretary Derek Mackay claimed more than £4,400 in expenses in the aftermath of his resignation from the Cabinet, official figures show.

The MSP quit on February 6 after The Scottish Sun revealed he had sent 270 messages to a 16-year-old boy on social media.

In total, £4,406.50 of taxpayers’ money was used to reimburse the shamed minister during February and March this year.

Of that, £2,122.90 was spent on accommodation in Edinburgh, £1,792.50 on his parliamentary office – £600 of which was on computer systems – and £491.10 on hiring halls, paying for newspaper subscriptions and advertising.

Mr Mackay’s resignation came on the morning of the Scottish draft budget, leaving his deputy and then-public finance minister Kate Forbes to deliver the speech with just seven hours notice.

Ms Forbes was named Finance Secretary two weeks after the budget.

The Renfrewshire South and West MSP, who now sits as an independent, claimed for £1,990 of rent payments in February and March and a £132.90 utility bill from Scottish Power for electricity March 11 and April 9.

Rent for a parliamentary office worth £1,125, £67.50 for “rental charges” £600 worth of “maintenance” for a casework management system and £46.80 in newspaper subscriptions.

Mr Mackay claimed back £41.90 for the hiring of rooms or halls, including one the day before the scandal broke.

A further £372 was spent on newspaper advertisements along with £30.40 for waste collection to Renfrewhshire Council.

It comes after Mr Mackay was found to have claimed £327.10 in rent in Edinburgh between July 5 and July 14.

Released via a freedom of information request, he was found to have claimed more than £1,800 in July and August.

Over the past financial year, Mr Mackay claimed £32,047.74 for his duties.

During the last financial year, £16,987,056 was paid to MSPs in expenses and allowances, including for stationery costs, staffing and general expenses.

A spokesman for Derek Mackay MSP said: “The expenditure complies with Scottish Parliament allowance rules and Mr Mackay’s Renfrewshire North and West constituency office is continuing to operate in line with the Scottish Government’s coronavirus guidance in dealing with casework and making representations on behalf of constituents.

“The constituency office has directly assisted in more than 580 cases so far this year.”

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