THE council where former Finance Secretary Derek Mackay began his political career has branded him "unfit" to be an MSP for pestering a 16-year-old boy on social media.

Councillors in SNP-run Renfrewshire agreed unanimously that Mr Mackay should quit with immediate effect as the MSP for Renfrewshire North and West.

Some of those who supported the call are former colleagues and staff of Mr Mackay.

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It followed Labour group leader Eddie Devine tabling a motion calling on Mr Mackay to stand down as one of the area’s MSPs.

It said: "Renfrewshire Council believes that Derek Mackay should resign with immediate effect as MSP for Renfrewshire North and West Constituency. 

"He has shown, by his behaviour with inappropriate texts to a 16 year old boy, that he is unfit to hold the office of MSP."

As no objection was made, the motion was agreed by the full council without a vote.

Mr Mackay contacted a schoolboy out of the blue via social media last August without knowing his age, then sent him 270 messages over six months.

He called him “cute”, asked him to dinner and asked that their conversations be kept secret.

His behaviour came to light after the boy’s mother contacted the Scottish Sun.

Opposition parties called his conduct “predatory” and a textbook example of “grooming”.

Mr Mackay, 42, who left the Government on February 5 on the eve of the Scottish budget, was elected to Renfrewshire Council in 1999 at the age of 21.

He went on to lead it in 2007, the first time the SNP had run the authority.

He became an MSP in 2011 and Finance Secretary in May 2016.

He has not been seen in public since his resignation from the Government, but remains an MSP on a £63,579 salary because there is no mechanism to remove him from Holyrood.

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He is automatically entitled to a £12,000 severance payment for no longer being a minister.

He could, in theory, remain an MSP in name only until the next Holyrood election in 2021 without doing any work.

The SNP, which has suspended him from the party and removed the party whip at Holyrood, is currently holding its own internal inquiry into his conduct.