ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP
Scottish minister Michael Matheson resigns over a bill on his work iPad (for watching football). Illustrative photo.
SCOTLAND- The truth always comes out, and Michael Matheson understands that well. The Scottish Minister of Health presented his resignation this Thursday, February 8 after a scandal caused by a football match watched by his sons on his official iPad during a vacation in Morocco. The telephone bill amounted to more than 12,000 euros.
The affair broke out in November 2023, almost a year after the minister’s family vacation between late December 2022 and early January 2023. Michael Matheson was the subject of an investigation by the Scottish Parliament before he admit the truth and resign.
He initially said he did not know the origin of these amounts and had used his electronic tablet to work, which would have led the Scottish Parliament to have to pay this bill. Perplexed by this response, the opposition calculated that it would have been necessary to send thousands of e-mails in the space of a few hours to reach this amount.
After a long denial, Michael Matheson finally broke down, admitting that he knew his children had used his tablet but that he wanted to protect them. However, he did not specify which matches were in question but affirmed that he had not watched them. The former minister apologized to elected officials and resolved to repay this sum of approximately 12,900 euros.
Resign so as not to “divert attention”
While the Scottish Parliament must report the conclusions of its investigation opened since November, Michael Matheson explained in his resignation letter addressed to Prime Minister Humza Yousaf that he preferred to leave the government so as not to ” To divert attention “ of his political action.
Prime Minister says he has accepted Matheson’s resignation “with sadness” and that he had made “huge services” in the country, but that he was “preferable” that he leave his government now, so that future revelations about his roaming charges abroad “do not become a distraction”.
The 53-year-old former minister joined the Scottish government in 2011, and has held various positions for 13 years, notably in Justice, Transport, then Health since March 2023.
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