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Yousaf must remove SNP whip from “disgraced” Matheson

Humza Yousaf has today been urged to remove the SNP whip from Michael Matheson in the wake of the Scottish Parliament’s damning verdict on the iPad roaming charges scandal.

Douglas Ross has written to the First Minister calling on him to “belatedly show firm leadership” following Thursday’s confirmation by Holyrood’s corporate body that the former health secretary had breached two sections of the MSP code of conduct.

In his letter, the Scottish Conservative leader says that, while so far Michael Matheson has refused to resign as an MSP, Humza Yousaf can and should suspend the party whip while the standards committee looks at the corporate body report.

Douglas Ross points out that Michael Matheson’s offence is far graver than that of Fergus Ewing, who had the SNP whip suspended “just for acknowledging that Scottish Green minister Lorna Slater isn’t up to the job”.


Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The findings of the parliamentary inquiry are utterly damning and it’s clear that Michael Matheson’s position as an MSP is untenable.

“Humza Yousaf inexplicably stood by his friend – absurdly calling him a man of integrity – when it was clear to everyone that the disgraced former health secretary had repeatedly lied during this scandal.

“Having displayed appalling judgment throughout this saga, he must belatedly show some leadership by removing the SNP whip from Michael Matheson, while the standards investigation is ongoing. If Matheson had any decency he would resign as an MSP.

“Humza Yousaf was happy to suspend Fergus Ewing just for acknowledging that Scottish Green minister Lorna Slater isn’t up to the job. So there is no excuse for him not to punish someone who has been found guilty of multiple breaches of the MSP code of conduct.”