THE Scottish Health Secretary formally apologized today to the local parliament, because returning from vacation he submitted for approval a hefty phone bill of more than 12,000 euros, because his kids were watching a soccer game on his business iPad.

The case has embarrasses the local government since it was revealed that Michael Matheson asked for taxpayers’ money to pay the bill of around £11,000 (€12,500).

At first the minister claimed he was using the tablet for work purposes during his holiday in Morocco in late December to early January last year. But the opposition estimated it would need to send more than 8,000 emails to reach that figure.

Matheson told parliament today that his teenage sons watched a football match on his tablet.

“Mistakes were made, by me, by my family,” he said, adding that he paid the money himself. “I should have paid more attention to the sim card and investigated better what exactly happened,” Matheson added. “I acknowledge it, I take full responsibility and I apologize unreservedly,” continued the minister, whose resignation has been demanded by the opposition.

Scottish First Minister Hamza Yousaf, whose party, the SNP, has been rocked by a scandal surrounding its funding, said “mistakes are made” and renewed his confidence in his minister.