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SNP MP Joanna Cherry suggests Derek Mackay was guilty of ‘grooming behaviour’

Joanna Cherry.
Joanna Cherry.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC has suggested Derek Mackay has been guilty of “grooming behaviour”.

As the SNP reels from Mr Mackay’s resignation, the Edinburgh South West MP said his conduct was “totally unacceptable”and should  be condemned.

Ms Cherry made her views known in a tweet, which read: “Grooming behaviour is totally unacceptable & must be condemned without fear or favour.

“The first minister was right to accept Derek Mackay’s resignation & suspend him. The party’s disciplinary procedures must now take their course.”

Speaking to the media after First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon said it was “inconceivable to me” that Mr Mackay “could remain as a government minister”.

Ms Sturgeon repeated that the former Finance Secretary had been suspended from the SNP pending an investigation.

“I couldn’t be clearer on my views about the seriousness and Derek Mackay has issues to reflect on,” the first minister said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives at the debating chamber ahead of FMQs at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

When asked if Mr Mackay should quit Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said she would not pre-empt the investigation.

Asked if there should be a police inquiry into Mr Mackay’s behaviour, she replied: “It would be deeply wrong – constitutionally not just politically – for me as first minister to in any way direct the police as to what they should do. That should be a matter for the police.”

When asked if she agreed with Ms Cherry’s grooming behaviour comments, the first minister replied that she hadn’t seen the remarks.

“I cannot be clearer about my views of how seriousness this is. It is for the police to decide if anything needs to be investigated. It was not an option for him to remain in government based on what I knew last night.”

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