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Shivers go through me now..minister's the last person I would have worried about; PROBE CALL OVER MACKAY TEEN TALK He stood in for Sturgeon at kids' night while grooming boy Disclosure probe urged as BB honorary role under review Pressure grows on MSP.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE John Ferguson | Political Editor

Child protection watchdogs have been urged to open an investigation into Derek Mackay amid a string of new revelations about his conduct.

The Sunday Mail has learned the disgraced former minister hosted a group of schoolkids at a city centre night-time "meet and greet" event - in the same month he sent 31 highly inappropriate texts to a 16-year-old.

We can also reveal Mackay held an honorary role with the Boys' Brigade, which is now under review.

An MSP has called for a referral to the child protection watchdog Disclosure Scotland to be considered. The agency has the power to ban Mackay - who is also Turn to Page 2 | From Page One being investigated by police - from working with children, even if he doesn't have criminal convictions.

Neil Bibby MSP said: "The relevant authorities should now be seriously considering whether a referral to Disclosure Scotland is appropriate in this case."

Mackay - who was forced to resign hours before he was due to deliver Scotland's PS43billion budget on Thursday - has now deleted all of his social media profiles.

But we can reveal that in one of the posts - uploaded in August while he had been repeatedly contacting a teenager - he said he had written to every head teacher in his constituency making himself available for school visits. Another post showed him at Gryffe High School in Renfrewshire in 2018.

Disclosure Scotland manages the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme, which ensures people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable

CAPTION(S):

SHAMED Derek Mackay at the meet and greet event

to work with children and protected adults cannot do "regulated work" with them. A PVG certificate contains all unspent and certain spent conviction information and also contains any other nonconviction information that the police or other government bodies think is relevant. A legal source said: "It is not just the police that can make a referral to Disclosure Scotland with concerns about a person's suitability to work with vulnerable

persons. Referrals can be made by employers, courts and regulatory bodies too." Mary Glasgow, of charity Children 1st, said: "By resigning, Derek Mackay has acknowledged that his behaviour was inappropriate. We've always been clear that children and young people are vulnerable in situations where there is a significant difference in age, power and status between them and another person. It is never acceptable to exploit that vulnerability."

TIPPED FOR TOP Mackay with FM Sturgeon in 2017

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Author:EXCLUSIVE John Ferguson / Political Editor
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 9, 2020
Words:406
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