KEITH Brown has clashed with a BBC host and suggested that he had been tricked into an appearance under false pretences.

The SNP depute leader was speaking with Good Morning Scotland’s Laura Maxwell on Tuesday morning, and was quickly bombarded with questions about Michael Matheson following revelations about the £11,000 data roaming bill on his parliamentary iPad.

He then suggested that he was duped into making an appearance on the show, claiming that he had been asked on the show to discuss the debate in Holyrood later on Tuesday calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in the Israel-Hamas conflict, but was being grilled about Matheson instead.

Brown responded to a series of questions on Matheson from Maxwell, to which he said there is “no shortage” of opportunities to scrutinise the health minister at Holyrood, adding that his SNP colleague is someone of “integrity and honesty” – something Humza Yousaf has also said.

But after a series of further questions, Brown then put his foot down.

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He said: “Sorry, I’d understood that I was being asked on this morning to talk about the potential ceasefire with Hamas, which is a very serious issue to be discussed in Parliament.

“And I’d be happy to discuss that having answered a number of questions on this one issue.”

Maxwell responded, saying Brown was “right” it was happening later that day.

She then added: “But, once again, it seems as though the incident surrounding Michael Matheson’s data roaming bill overshadows that somewhat because people are still talking about that.”

Social media users reacted with a mix of outrage and ambivalence.

The official Twitter/X account for Broadcasting Scotland said: “According to BBC Scotland News, a story about an excessive roaming charge overshadows a ceasefire in Gaza.”

James Campbell, meanwhile, said it was an “incredible” interview from Laura Maxwell.

He added: “She has said that an Ipad roaming charge (that has been paid back) overshadows a ceasefire and the stopping of mass genocide of people in the Middle East.

“She and GMS are out of control.”

Chris Musson, an associate at the Scottish Sun, was less outraged.

He said: “SNP deputy leader Keith Brown complained on BBC Good Morning Scotland that he was being grilled about Michael Matheson's misleading statements when he had been asked on the show to talk about Gaza.

“You don't get to choose the questions. Same rules for everyone.”