Michael Matheson iPad data roaming expenses scandal: Even SNP supporters realise he must resign – Scotsman comment

Scotland needs a Health Secretary fully focussed on fixing the NHS, not continually distracted by questions over his iPad expenses claim

As Michael Matheson clings on as Health Secretary amid the ongoing scandal over his £11,000 data roaming expenses claim, a new poll has revealed that, by a margin of nearly two to one, voters think he should resign. The Ipsos survey found 61 per cent thought he should go, compared to 31 who did not. Even among SNP voters, a clear majority – 52 to 44 per cent – agreed with The Scotsman that Matheson’s position is untenable.

His decision to claim £11,000 of taxpayers’ money for a week’s iPad data roaming while on holiday in Morocco was at least an error of judgment. Less charitably, it demonstrated a wilful disdain for the public purse. However, his public claim that there had been no “personal use” of the iPad, after he learned there had been, means he must fall on his sword. To allow government ministers to deceive the public would be a disaster for democracy.

Furthermore, it is clear this will be an ongoing distraction for the Health Secretary at a time when the NHS needs effective leadership more than ever.



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