Transport Minister Humza Yousaf 'Embarrassed' After Driving Without Insurance

7 December 2016, 09:15

Humza Yousaf

Holyrood Transport Minister Humza Yousaf made an ''honest mistake'' after a routine roadside check found he was driving with no insurance.

The Scottish Government minister said he would not be contesting the charge after he got behind the wheel of a friend's car when he was not insured to drive other vehicles.

Police Scotland pulled the car over on the A835 near Dingwall at around 7pm on Friday December 2, the Scottish Sun reported.

It is understood he was sharing the driving with a friend on the way to a St Andrew's Night dinner in Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands at the time.

The incident comes at a time when Mr Yousaf is under pressure at Holyrood over the performance on the railways, with ScotRail Abellio not hitting targets for the number of trains that run on time.

The Transport Minister said a mix-up in the paperwork following the breakdown of his marriage meant he did not have the necessary cover to drive other vehicles.

In the wake of the ''embarrassing'' incident he urged others to check their own insurance documents.

Mr Yousaf 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. Unfortunately, on investigation, it appears that following the breakup of my marriage and transfer of ownership of our car I did not complete the process of taking over as the main policy holder, which would have enabled me to drive other vehicles - which my policy had previously enabled me to do. However, I remained insured to drive my own car at all times throughout.''

He said he had co-operated fully with the authorities and would ''not be contesting the issue''.

Mr Yousaf added: ''I will accept any penalty imposed and have taken immediate steps to update my insurance cover.

''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.''

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: ''We don't believe this is a resignation matter.

''Anyone could have found themselves in this situation, due process has been followed, Mr Yousaf himself has apologised, and we should move on.

''He now has an opportunity to use this incident to persuade others of the importance of motorists being properly insured.''

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