Scotland politics

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf drove without insurance

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Media captionHumza Yousaf says he is deeply embarrassed by the "genuine and honest mistake"

Scotland's transport minister has been caught driving a friend's car without the proper insurance.

Humza Yousaf was stopped by police as he drove on the A835 between Inverness and Ullapool on Friday evening.

The officers carried out routine checks, which showed that Mr Yousaf was only insured to drive his own vehicle.

Mr Yousaf said a misunderstanding following his split from his wife had caused the "honest mistake" and that he would admit the offence.

Routine stop

The SNP politician was said to have been driving a friend's car when he was pulled over by police in a routine stop.

The pair, who were on their way to catch a ferry from Ullapool to a St Andrew's Day dinner in Stornoway, are thought to have been sharing the driving on the journey.

Mr Yousaf said he later discovered that, following the breakup of his marriage and transfer of ownership of the couple's car, he did not complete the process of taking over as the main policy holder.

This would have enabled him to drive other vehicles - which his policy had previously enabled him to do.

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.

"However I remained insured to drive my own car at all times throughout."

'Honest mistake'

Mr Yousaf said he would accept any penalty that was imposed on him, and had "taken immediate steps to update my insurance cover".

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."

Mr Yousaf told the Scottish Sun newspaper that there was "nothing wrong with the car, no lights out, I wasn't speeding, there was no accident" when he was stopped by the officers.

The minister has been under pressure in recent weeks following widespread concern about the performance of ScotRail since Abellio took over the contract for the rail franchise last year.

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."