Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government still have “huge questions” to answer following the Derek Mackay grooming scandal.
Yesterday, the First Minister told the Scottish Parliament that she had no prior knowledge of allegations in relation to the disgraced former finance secretary.
However, it’s been reported today that Mr Mackay harassed another young male through social media, and that Ms Sturgeon herself banned him from drinking alcohol at party conferences.
It was also revealed that the SNP government tried to shut down the story when contacted with the allegations on Wednesday evening.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:
“Nicola Sturgeon, when asked yesterday in the Scottish Parliament if she had sought assurances from Derek Mackay that the story reported was an isolated incident, replied merely that she was unaware of any other potential victims.
“It is now clear that no such assurances were sought from Mr Mackay by the First Minister, given there are other people coming forward with allegations arising from his previous and additional role as SNP business convener.
“It is also now being reported that he was banned from drinking at party conferences which again suggests knowledge of potentially inappropriate behaviour.
“From the start, it seems the SNP government has been more interested in protecting its own reputation than in the welfare of potential and actual victims.
“A pattern of behaviour is now beginning to emerge, and it’s vital the SNP leadership - instead of spinning - acts to establish a complete picture.
“The Scottish Government and the SNP should have already established a confidential hotline for potential victims to contact to report concerns and to receive appropriate support.
“This is action the Scottish Parliament took without delay in response to a previous incident.
“There has been a collective failure of leadership both from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the current SNP business convener Kirsten Oswald. Both now need to respond and act with far greater urgency and understanding.”
Notes to editors:
The SNP government attempted to shut down the story when contacted on Wednesday:
It was reported that Derek Mackay was banned from drinking at SNP party conferences by Nicola Sturgeon:
Fresh allegations were also made this morning by an SNP activist: