I pay for suits out my own pocket, says lord provost

Ex­penses: Crock­ett tells of buy­ing his cloth­ing sec­ond-hand on­line

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JON HEBDITCH

Aberdeen’s lord provost said his Glas­gow coun­ter­part left him “sur­prised” af­ter rev­e­la­tions she claimed £8,000 of pub­lic money on clothes and beauty prod­ucts.

Bar­ney Crock­ett, who has come in for crit­i­cism for his own ex­penses in re­cent years, said he buys his own clothes and for­mal wear and does not claim a penny from the tax­payer for the items.

He sources his suits from a va­ri­ety of sec­ond-hand sites, de­scrib­ing him­self as “a typ­i­cal north-east man” when it comes to be­ing care­ful with money.

Pres­sure has this week been mount­ing on Glas­gow’s provost Eva Bolan­der fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions she bought 23 pairs of shoes, five coats and a Kate Moss de­signer hat as part of an £8,000 spend­ing spree she billed to the tax­payer.

Mr Crock­ett con­sis­tently claims the most of all 45 Aberdeen coun­cil­lors, with his ex­penses amount­ing to £26,045 in the last fi­nan­cial year – mostly re­lated to for­eign travel and food as he rep­re­sents the city around the world.

In July he came un­der fur­ther fire as it emerged a new BMW seven se­ries would be leased for use as his civic car.

But yes­ter­day Mr Crock­ett in­sisted he tried to re­main fru­gal. He said: “I buy all my clothes sec­ond­hand on­line and I pay for all the clean­ing and tai­lor­ing. That in­cludes my High­land wear and black tie for events.

“I was re­ally sur­prised to hear about Glas­gow, be­cause I think all coun­cil­lors have it drilled into them to watch ev­ery penny.

“Es­pe­cially in Aberdeen, the pub­lic hate the idea of any­one liv­ing off of their tax money, and we ac­tu­ally of­ten have the low­est ex­pense claims in Scot­land,” he said.

“In Aberdeen peo­ple like to be care­ful with money and I think I am re­ally a typ­i­cal north-east man.”

Op­po­si­tion SNP fi­nance spokesman Alex Ni­coll said: “Our lord provost, like oth­ers across the coun­try,

“In Aberdeen peo­ple like to be care­ful with money”

will also get an al­lowance from the com­mon good fund.

“And let’s not for­get we have a £77,000 BMW sit­ting in the garage for his use.

“I sup­pose as a woman she would also be ex­pected to wear dif­fer­ent out­fits to events where men can usu­ally wear the same thing.”

Yes­ter­day, Glas­gow’s provost wrote to coun­cil­lors to say “sorry” for her ex­penses bill.

Ms Bolan­der said each claim had been “made in good faith and scrupu­lously ac­counted for, within the rules”.

But she added: “Al­though the spend­ing in­curred was within the rules, on re­flec­tion there are items which I should not have cho­sen to re­claim.”

It in­cluded £389 for Harris Tweed fab­ric, a pair of £358 spec­ta­cles and a £200 hat from Wil­liam Cham­bers.

Glas­gow coun­cil’s leader, Su­san Aitken, had tweeted her sup­port for the embattled provost, writ­ing: “It’s part of the LP’s salary in Glas­gow.

“It’s al­ways been un­der­stood that there’s an ad­di­tional cost of be­ing civic leader.”

An Aberdeen City Coun­cil spokes­woman said: “We can con­firm that no claims have been made by the cur­rent lord provost against this al­lowance.”

Pho­to­graphs by Jim Irvine

SUITS YOU SIR: Lord Provost Bar­ney Crock­ett says he buys his clothes him­self from eBay and char­ity shops.

Bar­ney Crock­ett said he is a typ­i­cal north-east man

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