SNP ministers ‘broke code’ by taking limos from manifesto launch
used for travel arrangements arising from party business”.
The Scottish Government was last night unable to say if Nicola Sturgeon also used a vehicle from its £1 million-a-year car service.
The Government defended the trips, which are revealed in newly published travel logs, on the basis ministers were travelling onward to official duties, mainly to Holyrood.
The five cabinet secretaries were deputy First Minister John Swinney, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, Health Secretary Shona Robison, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing.
Also picked up were Europe Minister Dr Alasdair Allan, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt.
Brexit minister Michael Russell shared the car for Mr Wheelhouse, and Ms Hyslop and Dr Allan also shared.
The code,which is policed by Ms Sturgeon, says ministers “must not use public resources for party political purposes” and “must be satisfied that their travel arrangements could be defended in public”, not least to reduce carbon emissions.
Tory MSP Miles Briggs said: “The public will be deeply uncomfortable at the idea of ministers swanning out of a party political event straight into taxpayer-funded cars. It’s the kind of hypocrisy the SNP is becoming renowned for.”
Labour MSP James Kelly said: “This looks like an outrageous abuse of taxpayer money by government ministers for party purposes.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Government Car Service is available for the use of ministers and Cabinet Secretaries travel to and from government business.
“On this occasion, Ministers and Cabinet Secretaries were picked up and travelled to a variety of Ministerial engagements.”
“We continually look for ways to minimise the use of cars for official journeys, for example, by car sharing – as happened on this occasion.”
Lawson claims Mr Hammond is ‘unhelpful’.