Shamed politician Derek Mackay has been savaged by the woman who hopes to win his seat exactly one year on from his spectacular fall.
Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Julie Pirone branded it “shameful and disgraceful” that Mackay has clung onto his job.
It was a year ago on Saturday that he was forced to resign as SNP Finance Secretary.
Details of his inappropriate messages to a 16-year-old boy emerged, including one where he called the lad “cute”.
Mrs Pirone, standing in the Renfrewshire North and West seat in May’s Scottish Parliament election, says Mr Mackay will have earned over £150,000 in salary and expenses since losing his ministerial role.
She’s backing the introduction of legislation, dubbed ‘Mackay’s Law’, which would give the Scottish Parliament the power to kick out MSPs who don’t turn up at Holyrood for six months.
Mrs Pirone says this would end situations like Mr Mackay’s, where there has been no parliamentary speaking or voting on issues brought before MSPs.
She now wants her election rivals to back a new law and said: “It is shameful and downright disgraceful that Derek Mackay remains in post as a MSP.
“A year ago, he was forced to resign his ministerial position in shame and he should have had the honour to trigger a by-election there and then.
“Instead, he has preferred to continue to hold onto his significant salary and claim major expenses on the public purse.
“It is simply not right that MSPs who don’t turn up and vote or speak in Holyrood are allowed to get away with doing so.
“That’s why I am fully supportive of Mackay’s Law being introduced in order to guarantee this scandalous situation won’t happen again.
“If I am fortunate enough to be elected in May, then I’ll be pushing for Mackay’s Law to be introduced in the Scottish Parliament as quickly as possible.”
A spokesman for 43-year-old Mackay said he had been working for the good of the area throughout the past year.
He said: “Derek Mackay MSP is focused on continuing to provide a constituency service and has fully engaged with parliamentary authorities.
“Mr Mackay and his office, operating in line with the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 guidelines, have directly assisted in more than 830 cases on behalf of constituents during the last 12 months.”