Matheson tells MSPs he wanted to protect family
Humza Yousaf is under intense pressure to sack the Scottish Health Secretary after fresh revelations about an £11,000 bill for using his parliamentary iPad on holiday.
Michael Matheson initially insisted he had been using the Holyrood-issued device for work during a family trip to Morocco last Christmas.
But yesterday the SNP MSP said he found out from his wife on Thursday last week that his two teenage sons had racked up the majority of the £10,935.74 bill watching football matches.
Opposition leaders have called for the embattled Scottish Health Secretary to be sacked.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “Michael Matheson blatantly lied when asked by the media if any of the data costs on his iPad were for personal use. His statement today shows that to be completely untrue.
“The SNP Health Secretary lied to the press and the public and his position is untenable. Humza Yousaf must sack him immediately.
“This parliament’s code of conduct requires MSPs to be honest. Michael Matheson has failed that basic test.
“He gave the parliament written assurances it was legitimate. That promise has been broken. Parliament has been misled.”
In an emotional statement to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, Mr Matheson said the “simple truth” was that his sons used his parliamentary iPad’s data to watch football matches.
He said he had not mentioned his family’s use of the device before because he was a “father first and foremost” and had wanted to “protect” his children from “the political and media scrutiny”.
The Scottish Health Secretary added: “That was a mistake and I am sorry.”
He said: “I can see now that it just isn’t possible to explain the data usage without explaining their role.”
Mr Matheson has reimbursed the amount and referred himself to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body so it can investigate the matter.
But he is resisting standing down as Health Secretary despite calls for him to be sacked.
The Scottish First Minister has insisted he has “absolute confidence in Michael Matheson as the Cabinet Secretary for Health”.
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