Scotland's health secretary Michael Matheson quits after racking up £11,000 iPad bill on holiday

8 February 2024, 11:25 | Updated: 8 February 2024, 11:46

Michael Matheson has quit as Scotland's health secretary
Michael Matheson has quit as Scotland's health secretary. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Michael Matheson has quit as Scotland's health secretary in the wake of the scandal over iPad data roaming charges.

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He racked up an £11,000 bill on his parliamentary iPad while on holiday.

In his resignation letter he said: "It is in the best interest of myself and the government for me to now step down to ensure this does not become a distraction to taking forward the government's agenda."

Mr Matheson had been under fire since November last year when details of an £11,000 bill on his Holyrood-issued iPad were made public.

In an emotional statement to MSPs, he revealed his teenage sons had been using the device as a hotspot so they could watch football while on a family holiday to Morocco.

The then health secretary, however, had originally insisted the charges had been run up while he was using it for constituency work during the break.

When he learned of his children's use of the device, Mr Matheson paid back the charges, which had originally been picked up by the Scottish Parliament.

With the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body conducting an investigation, Mr Matheson said he was "conscious that this process will conclude in the coming weeks".

Mr Matheson had taken over the post of health secretary last March after Mr Yousaf became Scotland's First Minister.

As well as the row over his iPad data charges, he has also come under ongoing pressure over NHS waiting times .

In his letter to the First Minister, Mr Matheson said he was "enormously grateful" to have been given the job as he thanked Mr Yousaf "for the support you have given me throughout the last year".

Mr Matheson told the First Minister that this "has meant a great deal to both me and my family".