Health Secretary Humza Yousaf says he will “not apologise” for giving his family the “very limited time he does” after facing Tory criticism for taking his 12-year-old step-daughter to the Harry Potter studios.
The SNP politician took to social media after The Scottish Sun reported this morning that he took his young family member to the tourist attraction in London.
However, the Scottish Conservatives have suggested the SNP minister should have scrapped the family break in order to focus on the surge in the virus.
Mr Yousaf took to Twitter to defend the trip which he said had been a promise made to his 12-year-old step-daughter “months ago”.
He accused the Tories of hypocrisy, revealing he had seen the party’s shadow public health minister, Sandesh Gulhane, at the attraction on the same day.
The SNP minister also drew attention to Matt Hancock, the former UK Health Secretary who resigned from the role after her breached social distancing guidance by kissing a colleague in the middle of the pandemic.
‘I can only assume it’s ScotGovt ministers who aren’t allowed to spend time with family’
Taking to Twitter, Mr Yousaf said: “Don’t usually comment on stories about me but I’ll make an exception.
“Most important job I have is being a good father, step-father & husband to my wife and kids.
🧵Don't usually comment on stories about me, but I'll make an exception.
Most important job I have is being a good father, step-father & husband to my wife & kids. In the last 7 months they've had virtually no time from me. pic.twitter.com/L4BaSfCENe
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) July 7, 2021
“In the last seven months they’ve had virtually no time for me.
“Pandemic has been tough for everyone and I am luckier than most but it has been tough for my 12-year-old step-daughter who missed her friends during her p7 year.
“As a treat, I promised this Harry Potter fan a trip to HP Studios months ago (if restrictions allowed) when school finished.
“Every day I have taken ‘off’ I have worked. Speaking to clinicians, vaccines & testing teams, clearing submissions etc.
“My family don’t see me much at all, and while they understand why, it is difficult for us all, so I won’t apologise for giving them the very limited time I do.”
On the Tory “outrage”, Mr Yousaf also revealed that the party’s shadow public health minister Sandesh Gulhane had been at the tourist attraction “at the same time”.
He tweeted: “We bumped into each other & said hello. So I can only assume it’s ScotGovt ministers who aren’t allowed to spend time with family.”
MSP Stephen Kerr, the Scottish Tory chief whip, said: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going to Harry Potter World. Unbelievable and terrible judgement from the Cab. sec for Health.
“I imagine Mr Yousaf will be hearing a few unforgivable curses when he returns to his colleagues in Holyrood.”
A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “This is pathetic whataboutery from the SNP.
“Humza Yousaf is the health secretary – he should act like it.
“A frontline doctor like Scottish Conservative MSP Sandesh Gulhane would have swiftly returned to Scotland and done far more to get Covid cases under control if he was in Humza’s privileged position.”