Nicola Sturgeon has defended receiving VIP treatment at airports on the public purse, saying £10,000 over three years was probably less than one private jet for Rishi Sunak.

The former First Minister also said security was a consideration for all political leaders.

Her successor Humza Yousaf this week ordered a review of how Scottish Government officials purchase items on “procurement cards” after a row about recent spending.

Labour said a data dump of detailed records covering 58,000 transactions with £14.2m between 2019 and 2022 pointed to waste and possible financial mismanagement.

Mr Yousaf asked his most senior official, Permanent Secretary John-Paul Marks, to check whether the process is sufficiently “robust”.

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Besides the spending on Ms Sturgeon’s airport upgrades, staff spent almost £33,000 on away days including frivolous activities despite the cost-of-living crisis. 

Asked about the spending on her travel arrangements, Ms Sturgeon told Iain Dale’s All Talk show on the Edinburgh Fringe that first ministers needed to have “the ability to travel through an airport quickly and securely”.

She added: “I don’t know if that is an outrage, make up your own mind.”

On spending on airport services, she said: “I think I saw £10,000 over a couple of years. That’s probably less than one private jet flight for Rishi Sunak.”

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Ms Sturgeon added that “being careful with public money, taxpayers’ pounds and pennies, of course that is important”.

But she also said: “For any first minister, probably for any head of government anywhere, all of your travel is informed by security considerations.”

Mr Sunak last month defended his use of planes to travel about the UK.

After flying to Scotland in July, he said: “Every prime minister before me has also used planes to travel around the United Kingdom because it is an efficient use of time for the person running the country.”