The Scottish Government’s budget has been thrown into chaos after the Finance Secretary was rocked by serious allegations.
SNP Cabinet Secretary Derek Mackay is facing claims he sent inappropriate texts to a 16-year-old schoolboy.
The allegations came as the 42-year-old prepared to outline the government’s £43 billion spending plans to MSPs at Holyrood today.
The Scottish Sun reported Mr Mackay sent 270 private messages to the boy on Instagram and Facebook over six months after contacting him out of the blue.
In one message he is alleged to have told the boy he thought he was “cute”.
He is said to have asked “Are our chats between us?” before telling the teen: “I think you are really cute.”
The boy’s mother told The Sun: “If I could speak to him, I would ask him ‘Why? Why did you do this?’
“I worry about what would have happened if my son had sent him back a message he wanted to hear.
“You can see he tries again and again — like he is trying to get my son to change his mind about something. He is trying to see how much he can push it.”
It was unclear how the allegations will impact on today’s budget, which has been meticulously planned for weeks.
Mr Mackay has repeatedly been tipped as a potential successor to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The budget is his most high profile job as finance secretary.
Mr Mackay came out as gay in 2013 when he announced he was separating from his wife.