Michael Matheson: On the Beach 'offers' former Scottish minister a job after £11,000 iPad holiday bill blunder

An online travel agency has made a tongue-in-cheek job offer to Michael Matheson after he quit the Scottish government's frontbench over a data roaming bill of almost £11,000.

On the Beach has jokingly offered the former health secretary the role of "head of mobile data" as he "just had some hefty bills to pay".

Mr Matheson hit the headlines last year after billing the taxpayer an eye-watering invoice following a family trip to Morocco around Christmas 2022.

His roaming charges for the parliamentary iPad - not phone calls - totalled nearly £11,000.

The Falkirk West MSP initially claimed the bill was run up due to an outdated SIM card while undertaking constituency work during the trip.

After agreeing to pay the money back out of his own pocket, it was later discovered that the costs were racked up by Mr Matheson's teenage sons who had used the iPad as a hotspot to watch football while abroad.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Matheson announced he was stepping down as health secretary ahead of the conclusion of a probe by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB).

In response to his resignation, On the Beach sent Mr Matheson the job offer of "head of mobile data".

Zoe Harris, chief customer officer, wrote: "Dear Michael, we've seen that you're currently without a job and have just had some hefty bills to pay.

"With your experience of roaming charges, we'd love to offer you a role at On the Beach as 'head of mobile data'.

"We reckon you'd be perfect for us to work with on some great ways to ensure your kids don't rack up £11k of data charges abroad.

"Let us know if you're up for it and we'll stick a formal letter in the post."

Mr Matheson was the net zero, energy and transport secretary in Nicola Sturgeon's government at the time of the incident.

He was appointed health secretary last year after Humza Yousaf took over as first minister, which came with an annual salary of £118,511.

Mr Matheson said he was unaware his sons had used the iPad as a hotspot when he initially submitted the bill.

He claimed he was told the truth by his wife after the story sparked a public outcry.

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Following his wife's admission, Mr Matheson initially failed to publicly mention his sons' involvement. Instead, he continued to insist the iPad was only used for parliamentary work and blamed an outdated SIM card for the excessive bill.

When questioned by journalists days after he knew the truth, he continued to deny the iPad was used for personal use until he made a statement to Holyrood.

Tendering his resignation, Mr Matheson wrote: "Having requested that the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body review my data roaming charges from last year, I am conscious that this process will conclude in the coming weeks.

"I have still not received the findings of their review, however, it is in the best interest of myself and the government for me to now step down to ensure this does not become a distraction to taking forward the government's agenda."