Derek Mackay

For the Scottish footballer, see Derek McKay.
Derek Mackay
Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution
Assumed office
18 May 2016
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by John Swinney (as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy)
Minister for Transport and Islands
In office
21 November 2014  18 May 2016
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Keith Brown (as Minister for Transport and Veterans)
Succeeded by Humza Yousaf
Minister for Local Government and Planning
In office
7 December 2011  21 November 2014
First Minister Alex Salmond
Preceded by Aileen Campbell
Succeeded by Marco Biagi (as Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Renfrewshire North and West
Assumed office
5 May 2011
Preceded by Trish Godman as member for West Renfrewshire
Majority 7373
Personal details
Born (1977-07-30) 30 July 1977
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Residence Renfrew, Renfrewshire

Derek Mackay (born 30 July 1977) is a Scottish National Party politician who is currently Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution. He previously held the posts of Minister for Transport and Islands (2014–16) and Minister for Local Government and Planning (2011–14) in the Scottish Government. Mackay has been the Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for Renfrewshire North and West since 2011.

Mackay was elected to Renfrewshire Council in 1999 at the age of 21. From 2007 to 2011 he was Leader of the Council as part of an SNP-Liberal Democrat coalition administration and from 2009 to 2011 led the SNP group in the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). He coordinated the SNP campaign in the 2012 Scottish local government elections.

Early life

Mackay was educated in Kirklandneuk Primary School and Renfrew High School. He attended the University of Glasgow for some time but dropped out to concentrate on local politics, first being elected at just 21 years old. Prior to his election as a Councillor Mackay was an active community Councillor and Vice Chair of a crime prevention panel.

Mackay joined the SNP at 16 and was involved in both the youth, where he served as National Convener from 1998–2002,[1] and student movements. He was first elected as a councillor for Renfrewshire Council at the age of 21 in 1999, making him at the time the youngest male councillor in Scotland. After his election in 1999, he won three successive ward elections and became leader of Renfrewshire Council in May 2007, taking the SNP from opposition to lead the administration for the first time. He became a national figure in local government, leading the SNP group at the COSLA from 2009 to 2011.

Political career

Mackay was first elected as a councillor in 1999, representing the Blythswood Ward on Renfrewshire Council. He was re-elected in 2003 for the same ward and in 2007 for the Renfrew North Ward following the introduction of the new voting system. He has been the SNP group leader in Renfrewshire since 2004 and following the 2007 election, became the leader of Renfrewshire Council. He was also leader of the SNP at COSLA and Chair of Paisley Vision Board.

Between 2003 and 2005 he served as a Parliamentary Assistant to former SNP MSP for the West of Scotland Bruce McFee.

At the 2011, Mackay was adopted for the new constituency of Renfrewshire North and West while also being placed third on the SNP regional list for West Scotland region. Upon his election as the constituency MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, he was placed on the Finance Committee and also appointed as the SNP's Business Convener and Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy Bruce Crawford MSP.

Following a mini-reshuffle due to a newly created ministerial post, Mackay replaced Aileen Campbell as Minister for Local Government and Planning on 7 December 2011. When Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister he was appointed as Minister for Transport and Islands.[2]

SNP Business Convener

In June 2011, Mackay was appointed as the SNP's Business Convener (party chair), succeeding Bruce Crawford. The Business Convener is responsible for chairing the SNP's Party Conference, the National Council and the National Executive Committee; overseeing the party's management, administration and operations, as well as the coordination of election campaigns; working with the Chief Executive of Headquarters in setting priorities.

Personal life

Mackay lives in Renfrew. He came out as gay in 2013 and separated from his wife.[3] They have two sons together.


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