Why Derek Mackay left Parliament in the same way he did in 2020, in disgrace

The Scottish Parliament smuggled out Derek Mackay, just as the disgraced former finance secretary stole a living as he refused to resign as an MSP.

His long-awaited appearance was a predictable damp squib, one that rehashed the existing issues around the ferries scandal and reminded us why the former high-flyer was such a promising candidate to replace the First Minister.

After all, who better to replace Nicola Sturgeon than a man who could rely on a failing memory, a holiday, and a knack for repeating government lines as a reflex action.

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Derek Mackay snuck out of parliament as he refuses to apologise for texts scanda...
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So impressive was his appearance in its obfuscation, it was as if he had briefed by the same special advisers who serve his former boss.

He “can’t imagine”, he said, the famously hands-off First Minister was personally involved in the procurement of the ferries.

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Being on holiday was enough of a barrier to any meaningful answers around the decision to award Ferguson’s preferred bidder status.

Former finance secretary Derek Mackay arrives at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh, to give evidence before the Public Audit Committee as part of its inquiry into the delays and overspends at Ferguson Marine.
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It was also a missed opportunity by MSPs to not press him further on who else may have been to blame for the fiasco, or whether his head was in the right place during the nationalisation process due to his six-month texting spree.

And his determination to avoid answering difficult questions extended to his departure.

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Guided by Scottish Parliament officials, he was snuck out the back door to evade the press in a telling display of cowardice.

Why the Scottish Parliament felt it necessary to protect a former MSP, now a public citizen, from the media is one they must answer.

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And it didn’t escape the notice of reporters huddled around the exit to Committee Room 1 in the Scottish Parliament that just as Mr Mackay was set to leave, a large group of teenage school-children gathered close by.

Awks, as the former SNP figure may well have texted.

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It meant Mr Mackay left the Scottish Parliament presumably for the final time, unless the Public Audit Committee invite him back again, in the same way he left in 2020.

In disgrace, without a degree of contrition or apology to the public, and without an ounce of self-reflection.

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All episodes of the brand new limited series podcast, How to be an independent country: Scotland’s Choices, are out now.

It is available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.



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