An SNP councillor is sorry for a 'silly comment' saying Derek Mackay fell for what was "probably a 'honey trap'".

Councillor Jean McClung commented that the situation involving the former Scottish finance minister, who is alleged to have sent hundreds of unwanted messages to a 16-year-old boy, was "probably a 'honey trap' set by the British establishment and he has walked right into it".

Her 'stupid' comment suggested that the schoolboy had been 'caught up' in a plot to scupper Scottish independence.

The comments, made from Councillor McClung's personal Facebook account, continue saying the incident "indicates what [she has] long suspected - the British Establishment will do anything to deny Scotland her freedom".

The posts also read: "Feel so sorry for the child caught up in it all. What is wrong with these men in powerful positions?"

Robert Foster, Scottish Labour Councillor for Irvine South, wrote on twitter: "This is absolutely dire from Cllr McClung, I am sure people in the community she serves and members in her own group will be shocked at this response to a powerful mans predatory behaviour."

A spokesperson for the SNP Group on North Ayrshire Council said: “The SNP Group utterly condemn the actions of Derek Mackay and we believe he should stand down as an MSP.

"Councillor McClung made a silly comment about external involvement which does not reflect the views of the SNP.

"She has since apologised and acknowledged the comment was stupid and made in the heat of the moment.”

The North Ayrshire elected member for Saltcoats has issued an apology.

Councillor McClung said: "To set the record straight, I absolutely condemn the actions of Derek Mackay and my heart goes out to the boy involved and his family.

"I have stated this position previously on Social media, and have also stated that I believe Derek Mackay should resign as an MSP.

"I made a stupid comment in the heat of the moment about external involvement of the British state and for that I apologise unreservedly.

"It was not intended to diminish in any way the seriousness of Derek McKay's actions, which of course are inexcusable."