Police caught Scotland’s transport minister Humza Yousaf driving without insurance on Friday night in another humiliating episode for the SNP.
He blamed the ‘genuine mistake’ on a misunderstanding following his recent break-up with his wife Gail, 27.
The SNP minister was driving a friend’s car on the way to a St Andrew’s Night dinner on Friday night, when cops stopped him on the road between Ullapool and Inverness at around 7pm for a routine check.
Mr Yousaf admitted driving without insurance and said he would plead guilty at the earliest opportunity.
He said he thought he had comprehensive car insurance that allowed him to driver other vehicles, but he discovered that after the split from his wife and transfer of ownership of the couple’s car, he was no longer the main policy holder and was subsequently no longer insured to drive other vehicles.
Mr Yousaf said last night: ‘I will put my hands up. It’s entirely my mistake and whatever the fiscal says I will agree to.’
He has issued a grovelling apology and said he will use his mistake to remind others to check their insurance.
It is the latest humiliation for the SNP after a string of its MPs have run into trouble over the last two years.
Natalie McGarry, MP for Glasgow East, was suspended from the party and has been charged with embezzlement.
Her colleague Michell Thompson was also investigated by police over her property deals.
And Chris Law became the third SNP MP to be investigated by police over financial dealings.
Meanwhile in October SNP MP Paul Monaghan was found to have paid his brother more than seven weeks’ worth of overtime in just one year, while another of the party’s MPs – Corri Wilson – paid her son 118 hours of overtime in just one year for work as her ‘personal assistant’.
Mr Yousaf said he was pulled over while driving his friend’s car for a routine police stop on the A835 and told the Scottish Sun there was ‘nothing wrong with the car, no lights out, I wasn’t speeding, there was no accident’.
Explaining the embarrassing episode and issuing a grovelling apology in a statement today, he said: ‘I believed I was in possession of fully comprehensive insurance, not just for my own car, and as such that I was insured to drive vehicles other than my own.
‘If I had had even the slightest doubt about my insurance I would not have driven the car.
‘However I remained insured to drive my own car at all times throughout.’
He added: ‘This was an honest mistake, and an embarrassing one for me personally – however it underlines the importance of being properly insured at all times.
‘I hope my example reminds others to check their insurance and I remain committed to my work to improve Scotland’s transport system for everyone.’