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Matheson should resign over £11k iPad bill, Scots say

Michael Matheson (Credit: Getty images)

More trouble for Humza Yousaf’s beleaguered Health Secretary Michael Matheson. A new poll for STV News shows 61 per cent of Scots think he should resign over the £11,000 bill in data charges racked up on his parliamentary iPad during a family holiday to Morocco. 

The bill was covered by the taxpayer out of a combination of Matheson’s office expenses and the Scottish parliament’s coffers. He originally professed ignorance as to how the charges were incurred but says his teenage sons later admitted to using the taxpayer-funded data to watch football matches. The minister subsequently agreed to reimburse the parliament in full. 

Yousaf’s leadership has already been overshadowed by rows (gender reform, a failed recycling scheme, his coalition with the Scottish Greens) and scandals (the police investigation into SNP finances, Alex Salmond’s new legal case against the Scottish government). He’s now investing a great deal of political capital to stand by Matheson, whose actions are being investigated by parliamentary authorities. 

The STV poll confirms that Yousaf has put himself squarely on the wrong side of public opinion, and not just in general. The survey finds that a majority of SNP voters (52 per cent) want Matheson gone, as do 72 per cent of Labour voters, the very demographic the SNP has to keep on side to save its seats in next year’s general election. 

Is Humza Yousaf prepared to thumb his nose at his own voters just to save a ministerial colleague?

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Steerpike
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Steerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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