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The Scottish Parliament should introduce a recall mechanism for MSPs to allow Renfrewshire constituents to sack disgraced politician Derek Mackay, a councillor has insisted.

Mr Mackay quit as finance minister and was suspended by the SNP after it emerged he had hounded a school pupil with 270 text messages.

But since no official mechanism exists to remove him as the MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, the dad-of-two has continued to pick up his taxpayer-funded £63,579 pay packet, despite going into hiding and not holding any surgeries.

The Recall of MPs Act came into force in Westminster five years ago and allows the electorate to remove an elected politician before the end of their term.

MPs can only be recalled if they get a prison sentence of 12 months or less, are suspended from the Commons for more than 10 days or break the law on expenses.

If the process is triggered, constituents can then sign a petition to recall the MP and, if 10 per cent of voters sign, a by-election would then be held.

Renfrewshire councillor Andy Doig has now written to Holyrood bosses to request a similar law be introduced in the Scottish Parliament so constituents can vote Mr Mackay out if they feel he is unfit for office.

Councillor Doig, who was a former party colleague of Mr Mackay’s, said: “Many of my constituents have told me they are appalled at the unprofessional behaviour of Derek Mackay in not holding advice surgeries.

“He has become the invisible man of Renfrewshire politics and is treating both his staff and constituents with total contempt. This has to stop.

“I have written to Ken Macintosh, the convener of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB), which regulates the functioning of Holyrood, and asked the SPCB to reconsider the matter of introducing the power of recall for MSPs.

“This would mean the constituents of Renfrewshire North and West would effectively have power to sack Mr Mackay, as has happened with MPs in England in recent years.”

The Scottish Parliament has said it would require an Act of Parliament to create a recall mechanism in law but, as presiding officer, Mr Macintosh is impartial and politically neutral, so he would not personally be able to initiate a Bill to introduce this.

Mr MacIntosh explained in his response to Councillor Doig that MSPs could alternatively propose legislation on the subject if they wished.

He added that he would not consider it to be a matter for the SPCB and also said that, if any constituent is concerned Mr Mackay has not taken on a case, they could write to him so he can investigate further.

While the Code of Conduct for MSPs does not specifically mention anything on advice surgeries, section 8 states they must all take on a constituent’s case when approached, unless they have a legitimate reason for not doing so.

Mr Mackay’s office was approached for comment.

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