Tories want to introduce legislation named after a disgraced former SNP minister who referred to an adolescent as “cute.”
It has been reported that a bid to remove errant MSPs under a new “Mackay’s law” will be launched in the coming weeks.
The proposed Tory legislation, named after disgraced former SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, would require parliamentarians who had not attended Holyrood for six months to resign. Mr Mackay resigned from Nicola Sturgeon’s Cabinet in February last year after sending 270 internet messages to a 16-year-old boy, including one that called him “cute.”
The SNP suspended the 44-year-old, but he remained an independent MSP for Renfrewshire North and West.
Before finally standing down at the election in May, he earned about £157,000 from the public.
Despite not attending Holyrood in person or digitally, or doing constituency surgeries, this was the case.
The Scottish Parliament lacks a Westminster-style recall system for removing disgraced MSPs.
Currently, an MSP can only be removed from office if he or she has served more than a year in prison.
Graham Simpson, the Tory MSP for Central Scotland, plans to bring forward a Member’s Bill by the end of the month, allowing individuals who do not perform their duties adequately to be removed from office.
Unless MSPs agree, his “Mackay’s bill” will impose an automatic six-month suspension on individuals who refuse to attend Parliament for more than six months.
Mr Simpson claims that such a rule has been in place for councillors for nearly half a century.
Other potential disqualification triggers, such as gross misconduct or a criminal offense, will be examined in the Bill.
“My suggestions for ‘Mackay’s law’ would ensure that we never again see an MSP still able to bag taxpayers’ money while failing to appear in Parliament,” Mr Simpson added.
“The issue that MSPs cannot be held accountable if they do not appear in Holyrood for six months must be addressed immediately.”
After a tabloid exposed Mr Mackay’s behavior, he was fired just hours before delivering the £43 billion Scottish Budget.
He had been sending communications to the 16-year-old for six months, including an offer to take him to a rugby match and pay his travel expenses to meet up.
Following the messaging scandal, an SNP activist leveled serious claims against Mr Mackay.
Married After being contacted by Mr Mackay at a. “Brinkwire Summary News,” Shaun Cameron, 25, claimed the MP solicited him for “naughty photographs” and that he was bombarded with “very provocative” messages online.