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Michael Matheson: Scotland’s health secretary blames £11,000 iPad roaming charge on sons watching football | UK News

Michael Matheson has admitted his sons used his parliamentary iPad data to watch football matches amid a public outcry over racking up nearly £11,000 in roaming fees during a holiday.

Scotland’s health secretary apologised during a personal statement to Holyrood on Thursday.

He claimed his wife told him their teenage sons had been streaming football in Morocco after reports of the bill emerged in the media last week.

Mr Matheson said: “It [was] at this point last Thursday night, when I returned home, that I was made aware by my wife that other members of our family had made use of the iPad data.

“This was the first I knew that the data had been used by anyone else.

“I previously checked this, but the truth only emerged after this story was in the news. I should have pressed harder, perhaps I should have been less willing to believe what I had been told.

“Presiding Officer, I need to be very clear with you and colleagues today.

“The responsibility for the iPad is mine, the responsibility for the data usage is mine.

“That is why my wife and I made the immediate decision to reimburse the parliament the full cost.”

Under questioning, Mr Matheson said the iPad itself had not been used by his children, but rather been used as a hotspot to allow internet access for other devices.

Mr Matheson has referred himself to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body so it can investigate the matter.

 Michael Matheson leaves the main chamber after First Minster's Questions
Mr Matheson leaving the main chamber after First Minster’s Questions on Thursday

The Falkirk West MSP came under fire for billing the taxpayer after running up the eye-watering invoice on the device during the family holiday with his wife and two sons last winter.

Mr Matheson initially agreed to pay £3,000 towards the cost from his expenses budget, with the rest covered by the Scottish parliament after claiming it was used for constituency work.

He then U-turned and agreed to foot the whole bill from his own…

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This notice was published: 2023-11-16 08:30:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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