Derek Mackay, absent MSP, calls for more Holyrood expenses

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In parliamentary spending signs he stepped out of favour over a muckraking controversy, Embarrassed MSP DEREK Mackay has now claimed more than £ 8,500, it has emerged.

New figures published by the Scottish Parliament reveal that between April and June this year, the former SNP finance minister billed taxpayers £ 4,164.

In February and March, the money was in addition to the £ 4,406 he said, for a total of £ 8,570.

The size of the statements was deemed ‘shocking’ by the Tories.

While he has not been seen since leaving the Scottish Parliament in early February, the bulk of the expenditure was on his Edinburgh apartment.

He demanded two months’ rent in February and March for £ 1990, and between April and June he claimed another £ 1990 rent plus £ 663.50 for council tax and £ 41.32 for energy bills.

This indicates that after his retirement, £ 4,684.82 of the sum claimed was for lodging near a parliament he no longer attends.

His April to June cost claims also include £ 1,125 for office rent and £ 344.10 for other office expenses.

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It emerged earlier this year that Mr. Mackay claimed £ 327 for ten days of accommodation in July in Edinburgh, nine of them while Holyrood was on break.

At the time, his spokesman claimed that the argument was within the rules of Parliament, which do not require an MSP to be present in Parliament to request accommodation in Edinburgh.

After the Scottish Sun announced that he had threatened a 16-year-old student on social media, Mr. Mackay resigned on the eve of the Scottish budget on Feb. 6.

The newspaper reported that in August, the 43-year-old MSP had approached the boy without knowing his age out of the blue and then sent him 270 messages over six months.

Mr. Mackay, who came out as gay in 2013, was tipped as a potential first minister before his political career was unexpectedly terminated by the scandal.

Since then, Holyrood has not seen the Renfrewshire North and West MSP, and the SNP has chosen a new candidate for his seat in 2021.

However, Mr. Mackay manages to earn his pay of £ 64,470.

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After resigning, he also got an automatic £ 11,945 allowance for the loss of ministerial office.

He will receive a further £ 53,725 automatic reinstatement allowance, the first £ 30,000 of which, if he leaves Holyrood at the 2021 election, will be tax-free.

Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative Glasgow MSP, said, “It is shocking that when not a hair was seen of him in Parliament, the former SNP cabinet secretary added up to more than £ 8,000 in expenses.”

“This money was paid to Derek MacKay to represent his constituents. There is no proof that, after a disappearance that would impress Harry Houdini, he was doing that.

“If he is unable to do his job and show up in Parliament, he should resign instead of hiding at home while claiming expenses and an MSP salary.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Mackay said, “The expenses are in line with the expense allowance rules of the Scottish Parliament and the constituency office of Mr. Mackay in Renfrewshire North and West continues to operate in accordance with the guidelines of the Scottish Government for handling cases and making representations on behalf of constituents.”

“The constituency office has directly assisted in more than 680 cases this year.”

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