Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Scotland Finance Minister Derek Mackay has resigned over hundreds of inappropriate text messages he'd secretly sent to a 16-year-old boy, he said Thursday.
Mackay, 42, befriended the teen online and had sent at least 270 messages to him. The boy's mother called on Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for his dismissal.
"I take full responsibility for my actions," Mackey said upon his resignation Thursday. "I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry. I apologize unreservedly to the individual involved and his family.
"I spoke last night with the first minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect. Serving in government has been a huge privilege and I am sorry to have let colleagues and supporters down."
Sturgeon said she accepted Mackay's resignation, adding that he made a "significant contribution to government," but his behavior in this instance "has failed to meet the standards required."
"Derek has taken full responsibility for his actions and apologizes unreservedly for them to the individual involved and to those he has let down," Sturgeon said.
Mackay, once considered a possible successor to Sturgeon as leader of Scotland, was scheduled to deliver Edinburgh's draft budget Thursday. That will now be given by Deputy Finance Minister Kate Forbes.
Jackson Carlaw, acting leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said Mackay has not gone far enough and should also resign as a member of the Scottish Parliament.
"I'm shocked, and I think everybody will be," Carlaw said. "It's not just a blow to the Scottish government but it's a blow to the reputation of the Scottish Parliament, and to politics in Scotland generally."