THE SNP’s depute leader has defended Michael Matheson, saying there is “no shortage” of opportunities to scrutinise the Health Secretary over running up an £11,000 iPad bill.

Keith Brown said those who wish to known more about the circumstances of the data roaming charges await a parliamentary investigation.

At the weekend, the Conservatives accused Matheson of “hiding away” after the Health Secretary made an emotional statement to MSPs in which he revealed his teenage sons had racked up the costs by using the device to watch football while on a family holiday in Morocco.

The Scottish Tories have threatened to bring forward a motion of no confidence in Matheson, saying there are still unanswered questions around Matheson’s actions.

READ MORE: Michael Matheson 'confident' in his track record amid calls to resign

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Brown said his SNP colleague is someone of “integrity and honesty” – echoing similar backing by Humza Yousaf.

He said: “There’s absolutely no shortage of opportunities for not just the Tories, any party, any individual MSP, to make inquiries of this through the proper channels in the Parliament.

The National:

“I think the wise thing to do is to wait until the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body has a look at this, and comes back to this with all the information that people may want.”

Brown said he has full confidence in the Health Secretary, adding: “I’ve known Michael for a very long time, before he entered Parliament when he worked in social work.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross demands Scottish Parliament debate on Michael Matheson bill

“It’s my view, and I’ve seen nothing to change this view, is that Michael is somebody of integrity and honesty.”

The Health Secretary spoke to journalists on Monday, saying his earlier statement to Parliament had gone into “great detail”.

Asked directly if he had lied to the press, Matheson stated: “I set out all the circumstances and explained the way in which I’d handled it in the course of my personal statement last week.”

However, he said he was now “focused on making sure I do my job as Health Secretary in supporting the health and social care system in Scotland” over the winter period.