Derek MackayImage copyright

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Mr Mackay had been widely tipped as a future first minister prior to his resignation

Derek Mackay has continued to claim expenses for accommodation in Edinburgh despite not having been seen at the Scottish Parliament since quitting as finance secretary in February.

Mr Mackay stepped down after admitting he “behaved foolishly” by messaging a 16-year-old boy on social media.

He is now an independent MSP having been suspended from the SNP, and has not taken part in any debates or votes.

However, he claimed for accommodation in Edinburgh for 10 days in July.

Expenses records covering the period directly after Mr Mackay’s resignation are yet to be published by the parliament, but BBC Scotland has seen claims filed by the Renfrewshire North and West MSP for rent totalling £327.10 in early July.

Holyrood was in recess at the time, although members did sit on one of the 10 days involved for Nicola Sturgeon to update them on the coronavirus pandemic.

Resigned from cabinet

As a current MSP Mr Mackay is entitled to claim an “Edinburgh accommodation provision” and there is no rule that he must attend parliament to do so.

However records show he has not taken any part in formal proceedings since he quit the government in February.

The Scottish Sun newspaper revealed hours before Mr Mackay was due to set out the Holyrood budget that he had sent hundreds of messages to a teenage boy over a six-month period.

He issued a statement apologising “unreservedly” to the boy and resigned from his cabinet post.

Police later concluded that there was “nothing to suggest that an offence has been committed”, and the SNP suggested in March that the MSP was “under medical supervision”.

Mr Mackay has been approached for comment.

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