The Scottish Conservatives have reported the First Minister to the national records watchdog after it emerged her office destroys handwritten notes.

According to the Times, Nicola Sturgeon’s office bin notes made on government policy - which Tory MSPs say could be a breach of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.

The Scottish Government has said the First Minister has complied with the Act.

Under the legislation, the Keeper of the Records of Scotland can carry out a review of public bodies, to ensure records are being correctly kept.

However, Tory MSP Donald Cameron has lodged an official complaint with the watchdog, citing concerns over governmental "transparency".

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The First Minister has previously come under fire for her alleged use of an SNP email address for government business, which is not subject to Freedom of Information legislation and where content can be freely deleted – unlike official government accounts.

When challenged at Holyrood in October, Ms Sturgeon said she conducts the majority of government business on paper.

Donald Cameron portraitConservative MSP Donald Cameron described the destruction of the notes as ‘bizarre’ (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament/PA)

Mr Cameron said: “By using a party email account and destroying hand written instructions, Nicola Sturgeon's government is putting every imaginable hurdle in the way to limit transparency and keep her decisions secret."

“This is an unacceptable and unprecedented attempt to avoid scrutiny and it simply cannot be allowed to continue any longer."

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He added: “That's why I've written to the Keeper of the Records to ask that he investigates this as a matter of urgency."

“Even for this SNP government, with its dubious record on transparency, this is a new low. It cannot be considered business as usual to treat the historical record of government at will, and it raises the very serious question – what does Nicola Sturgeon have to hide?”

A Scottish Government official said: “The policy used for handling notes in ministerial offices predates this government and was introduced in 2004/05 when the then Scottish Executive moved to electronic records management. 

"It was not introduced by the current First Minister and there has been no change under this First Minister in the handling of handwritten notes, with the practice the same as under her immediate predecessors. 

“From 2004/05 onwards it was agreed that responses from ministers are relayed by ministerial offices to the relevant policy teams who are responsible for maintaining the official record. 

"It is not the responsibility of ministerial offices to keep the official record.

“The Scottish Government is confident we comply with all records management requirements. 

"The Scottish Government’s Records Management Policy is submitted to the Keeper of the Records and is reviewed annually, or sooner if changes to the law require it, as set out under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.

"The Scottish Government has an agreement with the National Records of Scotland regarding the transmission of documents for the archive, which includes support for the transfer of electronic records.”