The Michael Matheson affair has continued to raise the hackles of many of our readers.

His admission to the Scottish Parliament last week that the near-£11,000 data bill had been run up by his sons, a fact he had previously concealed, led to several calls for his resignation – or dismissal.

Read some of those letters here 👈

Today, however, one of Mr Matheson’s supporters – his former election agent – pens a spirited defence of the Health Secretary, and argues that it is time to let this matter drop.

Lorraine Alexander of Falkirk writes:

"I have known Michael Matheson since well before he was first elected in 1999 and was privileged to be his election agent in the Scottish Parliament elections in 2021. He is a genuine person, driven to represent his constituents to the best of his ability and working towards independence for the country he loves so much.

It would be a travesty and a tragic loss to Scotland if Michael Matheson were to resign or be hounded out of office by a relentless media on a witch-hunt. They seem to think it is acceptable to target SNP elected representatives while ignoring the far greater misdemeanours, deliberately and not accidentally, carried out by elected members from other parties.

His impeccable record as an MSP, Scottish Government minister and cabinet secretary should not be thrown away because of this one error. His vote has increased election on election as he has worked so hard for the people of Falkirk West. He is well respected in his own constituency and throughout Scotland.

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Sadly, his family have suffered greatly due to this incident and the fact that Michael is in the public eye. Teenagers in any other family would be reprimanded and that would have been the end of it. They are not experienced enough to realise the repercussions their actions might have. For youngsters to be under such scrutiny is so very unfair and I can totally understand a parent trying to protect them from this.

Michael Matheson is a decent man who clearly regrets what has happened and made amends. I cannot remember any politician ever demonstrating a more genuine display of remorse.

It is time for the media to show the same decency and let this go.”