Michael Matheson’s job is this morning on the line after he was condemned in an official probe into his £11,000 iPad data roaming bill, according to reports today.

The beleaguered Health Secretary has faced intense scrutiny by parliamentary authorities after running up the huge bill during a family holiday in Morocco.

According to a report in the Mail today the Holyrood investigation is now complete and has unearthed ‘damning new evidence’ into Mr Matheson’s conduct during the scandal.

He has already admitted misleading the public after claiming he racked up the eye-watering data costs using the iPad for constituency business.

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Mr Matheson then blamed his sons, saying a huge chunk of the data had been eaten up by them watching a football match during the festive break. 

The dramatic new findings will pile further pressure on First Minister Humza Yousaf to sack his Health Secretary, despite previously backing him.

At the weekend, there was speculation Mr Yousaf could bring back Kate Forbes to Cabinet as health secretary if Mr Matheson leaves government. Mr Yousaf narrowly beat Ms Forbes in the SNP's leadership contest last year.

It is understood that Mr Matheson was yesterday handed a copy of the report, which has not yet been published. It is thought he will be given time to respond to the findings. 

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The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB), which carried out the investigation, will refer the matter to Holyrood’s standards committee, which will decide what action to take.

It has the power to recommend to parliament that any of his ‘rights and privileges’ are withdrawn, which could include a full suspension from entering the Holyrood building.

Mr Matheson ran up the £10,936 bill on his Scottish parliament iPad during a family holiday in Morocco between December 28, 2022, and January 3, 2023.

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Of this amount, £3,000 was paid for through normal MSP expenses after being billed as an office cost for Mr Matheson.

The remainder was paid centrally from parliament funds – reducing the amount that can be spent on upkeep of the Holyrood building and other costs.

Mr Matheson initially claimed that the enormous bill was due to him carrying out parliamentary duties while abroad. However, he eventually agreed to pay the money back in full.

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In a humiliating statement to parliament in November, he finally admitted that a majority of the bill had been racked up by his sons watching football using a hotspot from his parliamentary iPad.

Critics pointed out he had misled the media and the public after telling journalists that there had been no personal use of the iPad – days after his wife had informed him that his sons used it to stream football matches.

In its meeting in late November, the SPCB agreed that its investigation would look into the data roaming bill and assess whether Mr Matheson had made an ‘improper’ expenses claim and whether he failed to abide by rules set out in the Code of Conduct for MSPs.

The Herald: There is speculation SNP MSP Kate Forbes may return to Cabinet.  Photo Colin Mearns.

The code states that ‘no improper use should be made of any payment or allowance made to members for public purposes’.

It also sets out that members must abide by the rules of the expenses scheme.

The standards committee, which will decide on any sanctions against Mr Matheson, has a majority of opposition MSPs. 

Its members are Labour convener Martin Whitfield, Conservatives Stephen Kerr and Annie Wells, and the SNP’s Ivan McKee and Evelyn Tweed.

Mr Matheson is scheduled to give a statement to parliament today on proposals to hike the minimum unit price of alcohol.

Asked on Tuesday if the First Minister still has full confidence in Mr Matheson, a spokesman for Mr Yousaf said: ‘Yes, and he is delivering a very important statement about an important policy area.’

A Scottish parliament spokesman said: ‘The SPCB previously said its initial statement of provisional findings would likely be provided to the member in January 2024.

‘Work continues apace and the SPCB will provide an update once it is appropriate to do so.

‘In the interest of fairness to all, the SPCB has made clear it will not provide a running commentary on the investigation.’

The spokesman added: ‘The SPCB remains committed to openness and transparency and will release all material it can, when it can, in line with its legal obligations.’

Mr Matheson failed to respond yesterday to a request for comment from the Mail on the findings of the report.