The SNP has accused the Scottish Conservatives of “rank hypocrisy” over criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s overseas visits after it was revealed that David Mundell’s Scotland Office spent £120,000 on foreign trips in the last three years.

According to reports in The Ferret, the Scottish Secretary made nine overseas visits between February 25, 2016, and February 25, 2019.

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Mundell completed an £18,600 trip to Texas and an £18,000 visit to New Zealand as well as his office spending £17,000 on a trip to Hong Kong and Japan.  £16,600 was allegedly spent on a New York and Syracuse visit and £15,300 on a trip to Myanmar and Singapore.

A further £2500 was spent on a trip to Brussels and Berlin.

His most expensive trip was to Paraguay and Argentina, with a cost £20,800.

The Scottish Conservatives had been critical of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after she travelled to the US and Canada in February. In total, the trip to North America cost £44,000. 

Following her trip to North America, the First Minister was criticised by many with Scottish Tory chief whip Maurice Golden saying: “Another week and another jaunt abroad for the First Minister.

“Meanwhile, back home, we have a health service on its knees, our schools are struggling, and councils are toiling to balance their budgets due to SNP cuts.”

Jamie Greene publicly criticised the First Minister for visiting the US, Canada and Catalonia, posting an image of a doctored boarding pass with Sturgeon’s name on it, stamped by the message: “paid by the taxpayer”.

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The accompanying post read: “If Nicola Sturgeon wants to go to the US to talk about independent then the #SNP should pay for it.

“The Scottish taxpayer should not be left with a bill of thousands of pounds so that the First Minister can fly first class, grandstand and talk up #indyref2.”

SNP MSP George Adam said that the Scottish Secretary’s travels show that the UK Government Scottish Secretary “disagrees with his Tory chums who were quick to attack Scotland’s First Minister”.

He added: “Of course it’s only right that ministers should do everything they can to promote Scotland abroad – the only question is why nobody noticed he was gone.

“I have no doubt the public will see this rank hypocrisy from the Tory party for what it is.”