THE deputy leader of the SNP has said it is "very difficult" to see how disgraced Renfrewshire MSP secretary Derek Mackay can stay in his job. 

Keith Brown said politicians across Holyrood were shocked by Mr Mackay's behaviour.

He said he had not had any contact with the former minister since his resignation and suspension from the SNP. 

READ MORE: SNP activist claims he was bombarded by unwanted messages from disgraced Derek Mackay

The Renfrewshire North and West man sent some 270 messages to a 16-year-old boy over six months, including telling him he was cute and asking if the chats were "between us". 

The Gazette: Keith Brown Keith Brown

Other messages offered to take the youngster for dinner and to a rugbymatch. 

They continued even after the teenager said he was still in school and then later said he was 16.

The messages were published by the Scottish Sun and emerged just hours before Mr Mackay was due to deliver Scotland's £40 billion Draft Budget.He resigned as finance secretary during a face-to-face meeting with Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday night and was later suspended from the SNP.

Appearing on the BBC's Politics Scotland, Mr Brown was asked whether Mr Mackay should continue as an MSP. 

He said: "I think it's very difficult to see how he can continue, but it is his decision."

Asked if he had ever had concerns about Mr Mackay, he said: "No. I wasn't aware of his text habits, if you like, and this communicating with people of that age – completely unaware of that and it came as a shock to people throughout the party. 

READ MOREDerek Mackay sent teenager late-night message 'while on winter break with boyfriend'

"You could see the shock on people, not just the SNP but other parties as well."

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