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Michael Matheson 'off sick' as former health secretary stays away from Holyrood after resigning

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Michael Matheson has gone on sick leave following his dramatic resignation as health secretary last month after trying to claim an £11,000 data roaming bill on expenses.The MSP has not been seen at Holyrood in six weeks - with SNP whips reportedly asking opposition parties not to take advantage of his absence during key votes.Matheson was forced out of government after he initially claimed the eyewatering data bill was racked up by doing parliamentary business on his official iPad while on a family holiday in Morocco in December 2022.He later admitted the data roaming charges were caused by his teenage sons streaming football on the device.Matheson then repaid the £11,000 bill out of his own pocket.A report published by the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body last week found the Falkirk West MSP had broken rules over the affair.Matheson has been absent from parliament as he was "unwell and unable to work", The Times reported.It comes as the parliament's Standards Committee begins its deliberations on a report into Matheson's conduct.

It will meet today to "consider its approach to a report from the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body".Humza Yousaf last week suggested Matheson will not resign as an MSP.He described his former Cabinet colleague as a "decent person who made a mistake".Asked if he still thought the same in the wake of the report's finding, the SNP leader told BBC Scotland: "Michael made a mistake.

There's no ifs, buts or maybes about that."Decent people can make mistakes. Michael has made a mistake and paid the price for that.

He has paid back all of the money, of course, and he'll now be referred to the Parliament's Standards Committee, who will make a judgement and I won't interfere in that process."Micha

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