THE Scottish Tories have been branded “hypocrites” for criticising bosses at a new benefits agency for their travel expenses – after it emerged the Scotland Office splashed out almost four times more over the same period.

Figures show the UK Government department spent £272,557 on travel between September last year and the beginning of April, including hotels.

It comes just weeks after the Conservatives called Social Security Scotland’s £72,650 bill for planes, trains, taxis and cars “extraordinary”.

SNP MSP George Adam called the Tories “the very worst sort of hypocrites”.

He said: “They scream blue murder over modest costs to establish a new social security system, delivering extra financial support and benefits to households across Scotland.

“But the pointless Scotland Office spent almost four times that amount over the same period on David Mundell’s junkets, jollies and taxi fares.

“The Scotland Office is well past its sell by date. It’s time to abolish this PR agency for the union, and transfer its budget to Holyrood to deliver public services in Scotland.”

The Scotland Office, headed up by Scottish Secretary David Mundell, spent £98,905 on air travel, £60,974 on train tickets and £10,645 on taxis.

Meanwhile, £97,596 was spent on hotels, subsistence and motor mileage.

The figures for Social Security Scotland did not include hotels.

The agency is the first major new public service created under devolution, and began paying benefits in mid-September.

However, Scottish ministers announced earlier this year that a clutch of benefits would not be administered until 2024.

A Scottish Tory spokeswoman said: “The SNP is desperately trying to divert attention from its humiliating failure to deliver social security powers in Scotland.

“The Scotland Office is doing its job – like helping to devolve the social security powers that the SNP is failing to deliver on.”