08 February 2024

Neil Gray appointed new Health Secretary after Michael Matheson quits

08 February 2024

First Minister Humza Yousaf has appointed one of his key allies as Scotland’s new Health Secretary, after Michael Matheson quit the post after months of pressure over iPad roaming charges.

Neil Gray, who had been the wellbeing economy, fair work and energy secretary within the Scottish Government, has been put in charge of the country’s health service.

Mr Gray, who was a key figure in Mr Yousaf’s campaign to become first minister last year, was one of those moved in a cabinet reshuffle prompted by Mr Matheson’s sudden resignation.

Mr Matheson quit as it emerged the Holyrood body, which had been conducting a review into £11,000 of data roaming charges on his Parliament-issued iPad from a family holiday in Morocco, had agreed its draft report.

While Mr Matheson initially insisted there had been no personal use of the device, he later told MSPs his sons had used it as a hotspot so they could watch football during the trip.

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) informed him on Thursday that he would shortly be issued with a copy of their report.

Mr Matheson said he was stepping down “to ensure this does not become a distraction to taking forward the Government’s agenda”.

With Mr Gray now taking over as Health Secretary, Mairi McAllan will become the new Wellbeing economy, Net Zero and Energy Secretary.

Fiona Hyslop is promoted from transport minister to Transport Secretary, while Christina McKelvie, who had held the international development brief, takes over as the Scottish Government’s new alcohol and drugs policy minister.

The vacancy there arose after Elena Whitham quit the Government earlier this week for health reasons, revealing she is being treated for post traumatic stress.

Meanwhile, Kaukab Stewart is promoted into the Government to become the new international development minister, becoming the first woman of colour to hold a post in the Scottish Government.

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