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Scottish parliament to investigate SNP health secretary

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Uh oh. It’s not looking good for Scotland’s health secretary Michael Matheson. During a rather tearful speech in the Chamber last week, Matheson revealed that he had referred himself to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for an external review. While this temporarily halted press enquiries into the details, the referral isn’t the safety net Matheson desperately needs. For now it turns out that the SPCB wants to investigate him further. So far it’s only taken Holyrood 10 months to act…

However, the watchdog won’t be looking into the porkies Matheson told the press last week — namely, denying his iPad had been used for personal activities when he knew it had. And speaking of transparency, hapless Humza Yousaf isn’t coming out of this palaver particularly well either. In a particularly poor performance at First Minister’s Questions today, Yousaf ducked questions from Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross on Matheson’s honesty, or lack thereof:

DR: So let me ask Humza Yousaf: if government ministers need to be honest, why is Michael Matheson still in a job?

HY: I will say, for the fourth time, that Michael Matheson admits to making mistakes in the handling of this issue. And it is astonishing that Douglas Ross thinks that the party of Boris Johnson…can lecture anybody about standards in public life.

Oh dear. A pretty conspicuous deflection there from the FM. So much for all that openness and transparency Yousaf promised of his premiership, eh?

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

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