Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.. Image Source: IANS News

Edinburgh, Feb 6 : Scotland's Finance Secretary Derek Mackay quit on Thursday, hours before delivering his budget over claims that he messaged a 16-year-old boy on social media.

The development comes after the Scottish Sun newspaper said in a report ON wEDNESDAY NIGHT that 42-year-old politician contacted the boy "out of the blue" over a six-month period, and told him that he was "cute", the BBC reported.

The newspaper detailed allegations that Mackay, who came out as gay in 2013 after leaving his wife, sent the boy about 270 messages on Instagram and through Facebook.

While confirming that he was stepping down, Mackay said in a statement that he had "behaved foolishly" and took full responsibility for his actions.

He also apologised "unreservedly" to the boy and his family.

The newspaper also published a list of conversations involving Mackay and the boy, in which its says the Scottish Nationalist Party member invited him to dinner and to attend a rugby event.

In one of the exchanges it was claimed that Mackay told the teenager he was "cute" and in another the boy confirmed he was 16 and tells Mackay "not to try anything".

The paper also quoted the boy's mother calling for Mackay to be removed from his post.

The allegations come on the same day he was due to present the Scottish government's spending plans for the next years at Holyrood - a major set piece event, said the BBC report.

Mackay, who had been widely tipped as a future First Minister, signalled his intention to spend more on projects to tackle climate change in his budget, but will need the support of other parties to pass his plans.

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