ANGUS Robertson has backed Michael Matheson staying as Health Secretary amid the row over his £11,000 iPad bill.

On Thursday, Matheson gave a statement to Holyrood where he revealed that the data charges had been racked up last Christmas due to his teenage children streaming football matches.

He insisted he only found out about the reason for the large amount of data use while on holiday in Morocco late last week.

But calls for him to resign as Health Secretary have grown after the revelations were made, as he had told press that the iPad was only used for parliamentary business after learning about the true reason for the charges.

Further, Matheson had initially claimed the almost £11,000 bill on expenses, paying £3000 from his office budget, before committing to paying the bill in full from his own pocket.

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The Scottish Conservatives have said they intend to hold a vote of no confidence against the Cabinet Secretary, with Douglas Ross writing to Humza Yousaf on the issue on Friday morning.

Speaking at an event at Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, where the Scottish Government launched its latest white paper on rejoining the EU, the Constitution Secretary said he had “listened carefully” to Matheson’s statement to MSPs.

Robertson insisted it was “right” that Matheson had referred himself to parliamentary authorities to investigate whether or not he broke the ministerial code.

Robertson told journalists, when asked if Matheson should resign due to the heightened media scrutiny his family will now be under: “It’s for Michael Matheson to decide on, on questions like that.

“I want him to continue working as Scotland’s Health Secretary, and I want the inquiry that he himself has initiated with the parliamentary authorities to to be able to get on with their job.

“I've known Michael Matheson (below) for decades. I've said it before. I'll say it again.

“He's a proper person. He's a capable person I want to be able to continue working as Health Secretary.”

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In regards to Matheson’s personal statement, Robertson added: “I think any fair minded person appreciates the circumstances that he outlined.

“I think it's also the right thing for him to have referred himself to the parliamentary authorities who will be looking at those circumstances.

“And it is not for me to second guess that.”

He continued: “I know he's been working very hard in relation to the National Health Service, and I hope he continues to do so for a long time.

“But in the meantime, in relation to the story of the week that you're referring to, I'm not going to second guess an investigation that he has himself referred himself for.”