A review has been launched into a six-figure payment made to the former principal of Aberdeen University.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond announced his plans to retire in 2017, but it is understood his 12-month notice period only began in July last year when he left his post.

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is reviewing a payment believed to be in the region of £280,000 covering the past year.

North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has now written Aberdeen University to question the arrangement, highlighting that the former principal was also paid £312,000 in salary and pension contributions during the 2017/18 financial year.

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Karen Watt, SFC chief executive, confirmed to the Press and Journal newspaper that a review was now being held into the payment at Aberdeen University.

She said: “We expect Scotland’s colleges and universities to make best use of the resources available to them.

“We have begun a review, with the full cooperation of the University of Aberdeen, into the circumstances surrounding a payment made to its former principal to determine whether it met the clear governance and value for money requirements we make of all the institutions we fund.

“As this review is ongoing, we cannot say anything further at this point.”

Esther Roberton, the university's senior governor, said she welcomed the review.

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She said: "As the new senior governor of the University of Aberdeen, I share the Scottish Funding Council’s concerns that best use is made of the public purse,” she said.

“I therefore welcome this review and will ensure that we cooperate fully to determine the facts surrounding the end of service arrangements for the former principal.”

Professor George Boyne took over the principal role in August last year.