Nicola Sturgeon splurged £1,200 of taxpayers’ cash on business class flights and a luxury hotel during her farewell tour of London TV studios.
The former SNP leader spent one of her final days as First Minister giving interviews on shows including ITV’s Loose Women.
She snubbed a request from Westminster’s Scottish affairs committee to give evidence about her time in office and instead embarked on a round of media appearances.
Ministerial expenses show she contradicted her supposed eco- credentials by shunning train travel, despite it being one-tenth of the cost.
Her two-day trip cost the public purse a total of £1,230.02, including £515 spent on one night in a London hotel – which Government officials are refusing to name.
Criticising the expense, Tory MSP Annie Wells yesterday said that Ms Sturgeon should have ‘set an example’ and kept costs to a minimum.
She added: ‘The fact that she also thought it appropriate to take a short and costly business class flight to London also flies in the face of her repeatedly asking the Scottish public to do their bit to tackle the climate emergency while in high office.’
No information is yet available about how much it cost to send Ms Sturgeon’s security staff and advisers with her.
While in London, Ms Sturgeon was interviewed by Sky and ITV. She also gave a speech to the Royal Society of Arts to boast about her apparent achievements in office.
During her ITV Loose Women interview in March, Ms Sturgeon joked that she was ‘mortified’ to be wearing the same red jacket as when she announced her shock resignation a month earlier.
She also insisted she had no regrets pushing controversial legislation through Holyrood to make it easier for people to legally change gender.
A fortnight after her jaunt to London, officers swooped on the home she shares near Glasgow with husband Peter Murrell.
Mr Murrell – the SNP’s former chief executive – was taken into custody for questioning as part of a Police Scotland probe into party finances, as was party treasurer Colin Beattie.
Ms Sturgeon was herself arrested as a suspect in the investigation two months later, with all three released without charge pending further inquiries.
Asked to justify the cost of Ms Sturgeon’s trip, a Scottish Government spokesman claimed it was ‘the best value for money possible for the Scottish taxpayer’.
The spokesman added: ‘Any business flights taken by Scottish Government ministers and employees are offset by a carbon levy.’
Last year, taxpayers forked out almost £150,000 for Ms Sturgeon’s junket to Cop27 in Egypt, despite her having no role at the climate summit.