SNP government has spent £4.7m chauffeuring documents around Scotland in private cars

Nicola Sturgeon grilled by host on taking 'moral high ground'

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And the actual figure is likely to be even higher, given the total does not include journeys for the First Minister herself or other senior figures. Government cars are intended for transporting officials and ministers around Scotland.

However, a Freedom of Information request showed they had been used on at least 209 occasions purely for the transport of official documents in 2020.

The Scottish government declined to disclose journeys used for Mrs Sturgeon or Scotland’s lord advocate and solicitor-general.

The documents did not reveal the costs of each individual journey.

However, they showed the overall cost of the Government Car Service (GCS) last year to be £903,002.

Over the past four years, taxpayers have forked out an eye-watering £4,748,509.

The expense has been criticised as “appalling” by opponents.

In response, Ian Murray, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for Scotland, said: “The SNP has spent almost £1 million ferrying documents around while the number of children living in poverty has skyrocketed and local services are being savaged. It tells you everything you need to know about their priorities.

“This is not only an appalling waste of taxpayer’s money but paying for documents to be driven around makes a mockery of the SNP’s climate pledges.

“We need full transparency about what exactly these journeys were, why they were necessary and who allowed so much money to be spent on it.”

Scottish Conservative environment spokeswoman Liz Smith, said: “The SNP government talk a good game when it comes to the reduction of its own carbon footprint but these figures fly in the face of that.

“The taxpayer will be astonished that this car service has cost £4.7 million in the last four years.”

The Scottish government has not said how many times the GCS has been used to transport documents prior to 2020, with records routinely destroyed.

Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday for elections which Mrs Sturgeon is hoping with deliver her the overall Holyrood majority she craves.

However, a poll published yesterday by Savanta ComRes indicated support for independence had fallen to just 42 percent, with 49 percent opposed, and eight percent undecided.

Removing the undecideds from the equation would yield a strikingly similar result to that of 2014, when No triumphed by 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent.

In terms of the election, SNP support dipped slightly to 45 percent, with Labour and the Tories on 23 percent each.

Savana ComRes has suggested such a result would leave the SNP just shy of an overall majority.

Express.co.uk has contacted the SNP for further comment.

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