Scotland’s Health Secretary, Michael Matheson, is facing a potential vote of no confidence unless he hands over his iPad, which led to an £11,000 roaming bill during a family trip to Morocco. The Scottish Tories are critical of Matheson’s claims that the device was used solely for parliamentary and constituency matters and are demanding that it be scrutinized by the Scottish Parliament’s IT experts.
Party leader Douglas Ross has issued an ultimatum, stating that Matheson must surrender the iPad for browsing history checks and deliver a personal statement in Parliament, or the Scottish Conservatives will table a motion of no confidence. Ross insists that Matheson still has unanswered questions and that suspicions will persist until he can prove that the expenses were incurred while conducting parliamentary work.
Matheson maintains that the Parliament had already examined the data on the iPad earlier this year, but Holyrood authorities were primarily concerned with the volume of mobile data consumed as they had been assured it was used for parliamentary purposes.
The Scottish Conservatives believe that the device’s browsing history has not been properly examined to verify Matheson’s claims. Ross argues that this is the only way to establish the truth.
Despite the threats, Matheson is likely to survive any vote of no confidence due to the majority held by the SNP and Greens in the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Tories have previously attempted similar votes against other ministers, but these efforts have been unsuccessful.
In response to the potential motion, a spokesperson for First Minister Humza Yousaf stated that the government would support Matheson, emphasizing the ongoing focus on important issues such as navigating the health service through the winter.
Why is Michael Matheson being threatened with a vote of no confidence?
Matheson is facing a vote of no confidence because of an £11,000 roaming bill incurred on his iPad during a holiday trip to Morocco. The Scottish Tories are demanding scrutiny of the device to confirm that it was used solely for parliamentary and constituency matters.
What ultimatum has been given to Michael Matheson?
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has given Matheson an ultimatum to hand over his iPad for browsing history checks and issue a personal statement in Parliament explaining the circumstances. Failure to comply may result in a motion of no confidence being tabled against him.
Will Matheson likely survive the vote of no confidence?
Matheson is expected to survive the vote of no confidence as the SNP and Greens, who are in government together, hold a majority in the Scottish Parliament.
Why are the Scottish Conservatives demanding access to Matheson’s iPad browsing history?
The Scottish Conservatives believe that examining the iPad’s browsing history is necessary to verify Matheson’s claims that the roaming charges were incurred while doing parliamentary work. They argue that suspicions will persist until this evidence is provided.