Scottish Greens will back sanctions against Michael Matheson

A statement from the Scottish Greens.

Parliamentary sanctions against former SNP minister Michael Matheson over an £11,000 iPad bill will be voted for by Scottish Green MSPs, the party have confirmed.

Holyrood’s standards committee has recommended that he be banned from sitting in post for 27 days, while payment for 54 days salary will also be withheld, if sanctions are approved by MSPs on Wednesday.

They will support the Standards Committees motion which is binding, but in the second, Tory-led debate will oppose attempts by their leader Douglas Ross calling for him to step down, which is not.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “It remains correct that Mr Matheson is held accountable for his actions, and our MSP group will vote for the sanctions excluding him from parliament and sacrificing his salary.”

The Scottish Greens will also lodge an amendment to the Tory motion seeking to delete calls from the Tories for Mr Matheson to step down, dismissing them as “naked politicking” and “wholly malicious.” 

They will also call for a review of the sanctions process, saying it needs to “retain confidence across political parties” following days of controversy and leaks surrounding the outcome of the disciplinary process.

The spokesperson said: “This has been a truly unedifying process in which Tory MSPs have been exposed for their naked politicking and have tabled a motion that has been wholly malicious in nature. Nobody will take seriously the idea that Douglas Ross can present himself as a champion of truth and honesty in politics.

“However, any attempt by the SNP to try and water down the proposed sanctions would be unacceptable to us. A line should now be drawn under the matter.

“Reform of the current arrangements for considering sanctions against MSPs is urgently needed. We have real issues about the process and pre-judging of this case, and we will be seeking an amendment to reflect those concerns.

“It is regrettable that the actions of a member of this parliament has resulted in this, and we hope the whole chamber will reflect upon what has happened.”