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Derek Mackay (born 30 July 1977) is a Scottish National Party politician serving as Finance Secretary of Scotland since 2016, and has served as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Renfrewshire North and West since 2011. Mackay served as Minister for Transport and Islands in the Sturgeon Government, and Minister for Local Government and Planning and Salmond Government.

Derek Mackay

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, Derek Mackay.png
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work
Finance and the Constitution (2016-2018)
Assumed office
18 May 2016
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byJohn Swinney
Minister for Transport and Islands
In office
21 November 2014 – 18 May 2016
First MinisterNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byKeith Brown
Succeeded byHumza Yousaf
Minister for Local Government and Planning
In office
7 December 2011 – 21 November 2014
First MinisterAlex Salmond
Preceded byAileen Campbell
Succeeded byMarco Biagi
Chairman & Business Convener
of the Scottish National Party
In office
18 June 2011 – October 2018
LeaderAlex Salmond
Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded byBruce Crawford
Succeeded byKirsten Oswald
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Renfrewshire North and West
Assumed office
5 May 2011
Preceded byTrish Godman (West Renfrewshire)
Majority7,373 (24.0%)
Personal details
Born (1977-07-30) 30 July 1977 (age 41)
Political partyScottish National Party

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 lifeEdit

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.


Mackay attended Kirklandnuek Primary School and Renfrew High School in his hometown.

He attended the University of Glasgow briefly but dropped out.

Political careerEdit

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.[citation needed]

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]

Following the Scottish Parliament election in 2016, Mackay was promoted to the Scottish Cabinet to serve as Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution. After a mini reshuffle in June 2018, Economy and Fair Work was added to his portfolio.

SNP Business ConvenerEdit

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.

Mackay stepped down from the role in October 2018.

Personal lifeEdit

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


  1. ^ Young Scots for Independence
  2. ^ "Nicola Sturgeon announces new Scottish cabinet". BBC News. 21 November 2014.
  3. ^ "SNP minister announces he is gay after separating from wife". The Herald. 12 November 2013.

External linksEdit