Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has written to the First Minister demanding answers on why Derek Mackay was allowed to resign, rather than be sacked, from his position as finance secretary.
The former finance secretary, who has been suspended from the SNP, resigned from the post on Thursday morning, after the Scottish Sun revealed on Wednesday night that he had sent 270 messages to a 16-year-old school boy on social media.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has demanded to know why Ms Sturgeon chose to let Mr Mackay resign from her cabinet, rather than immediately dismissing him.
He is also calling on the SNP leader to make public any phone records and/or notes of any conversation she had with Mr Mackay after learning about his behaviour.
Mr Leonard said: “The fact that his behaviour was directed towards a teenage school boy should have been enough for the First Minister to take decisive and fast action.
“It is now vital that the full circumstances leading to Derek Mackay’s resignation are revealed publicly.
“The contact Nicola Sturgeon had with Mr Mackay after she was made aware of the allegations should be shared immediately.”
It is now vital that the full circumstances leading to Derek Mackay’s resignation are revealed publicly.”
Richard Leonard, Scottish Labour leader.
Ms Sturgeon suspended Mr Mackay on Thursday from both the SNP and parliamentary group, pending further investigations.
Meanwhile Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton wants the law to be changed so that all MSPs are required to go through the same background checks that someone working with children or vulnerable groups would have.
He plans to bring forward amendments to the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill when it is formally lodged, that would require elected politicians to be vetted by the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.
Mr Cole-Hamilton insisted the change was not being proposed in response to any single incident – adding that he had been “exploring this proposal for months”.
But he stated: “I have always been conscious that with elected office comes a huge power imbalance. We know that people can use their status to manipulate, target and exploit.
“People need protecting from that and this needs to be done through law.”
Further allegations have been made in the wake of the scandal, with the Scottish Sun reporting yesterday that Mr Mackay allegedly “groped” a 21-year-old man at an awards ceremony last year.
The politician, who still sits as an independent MSP, faces growing pressure to resign from parliament, with SNP depute leader Keith Brown revealing yesterday that it would be “very difficult” for him to remain as an MSP.
Mr Mackay has not been seen in public since Wednesday night, before the allegations came to light.
In a statement released on Thursday morning he apologised to the individual involved and his family, saying he took “full responsibility” for his actions.
A spokesman for the First Minister said: “Both the Scottish Government and SNP acted swiftly, decisively and entirely appropriately when the details of this issue came to light.
“Derek Mackay is no longer a minister, and he is suspended from both the SNP and the parliamentary group pending an investigation by the party.”