HOLYROOD bosses have been criticised after spending at least £1000 on a special outfit for an MSP to wear while playing the bagpipes.

A piper’s outfit was bought for the SNP’s Stuart McMillan in 2017 at a cost of £959, but officials insisted it remains the property of the Scottish Parliament.

This does not include the cost of a kilt purchased in the previous parliamentary session as this information is no longer held – meaning the overall bill is likely to be substantially higher.

Mr McMillan, who represents Greenock and Inverclyde, holds the informal position of Holyrood’s bagpiper and has played at events since 2011.

He declined to comment, but the SNP insisted he has performed at more than 20 official occasions, taking no remuneration for his role.

The Scottish Tories branded the spending a waste of taxpayers’ money.

A spokesman said: “Taxpayers will be dismayed to hear that £1000 of their money is being spent on special outfits for SNP MSPs.

“Public money must be spent with care, not thrown around on such luxuries.”

Spending on Mr McMillan’s outfit was released following a Freedom of Information request.

Holyrood bosses said he was provided with “ceremonial attire in parliamentary tartan” over the last two sessions of parliament.

However, they said the outfit remained the property of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body and was adjustable, and could also be altered in future if need be.

Meanwhile, the cost of a kilt bought during the last parliamentary session was “no longer held”. Officials could provide no information on where it was made.

Holyrood’s official tartan was created following a competition launched in 2009 to celebrate ten years of devolution.

Designed by a student from Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels, it was inspired by “heather tones and vibrant thistle colours taken from Scotland’s landscape”, and the Scottish Parliament sells a range of souvenirs and gifts using the pattern.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: “Mr McMillan was provided with ceremonial attire in the Parliament’s tartan for the purpose of playing at official parliamentary events. It remains the property of the Scottish Parliament.

“It has been worn on more than 20 occasions. These include the Parliament’s commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, annual Consular Corps’ Burns Suppers and the Opening of the Parliament’s fifth session.

“Mr McMillan has received no remuneration in this regard.”

He added: “Mr McMillan has been piping at official Parliament events since early in the fourth session [after the 2011 election].

“Prior to that, the Parliament would have arranged piping services as required.”

He said Mr McMillan provides his own bagpipes, shoes, hat, dirk and sgian dubh.

An SNP spokesman said: “This expenditure is an issue for the parliament, not the SNP.

“But as parliamentary piper Mr McMillan has performed at over 20 events, taking no remuneration for his role.

“As such, these are extremely churlish comments from the Tories – in fact, they are in extremely bad taste when you consider the most prominent among those events has been the parliament’s centenary commemorations of the Armistice, which would be one occasion you’d hope would unite politicians in common cause.”