THE First Minister has ordered a review of Scottish Government credit card spending after it emerged that civil servants spent over £14 million in three years.

Humza Yousaf responded to the figures, released by Scottish Labour on Tuesday, during an event at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The FM said he would ask the Scottish Government's top civil servant to check the rules were "robust" after admitting that some of the spending appeared to be questionable.

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It emerged on Tuesday that senior staff made purchases which included nail polish, yoga classes, a staff member's driving theory test, as well as China crockery for a meeting room and a £27 "homedisco" from eBay.

The figures also showed a £4182 spend on hospitality and accommodation at the five-star Gleaneagles Hotel in Perthshire, where officials attended a women in sport event in September 2019.

It also emerged that £9898 was spent on former first minister Nicola Sturgeon's use of airport services, such as fast-tracking through security and the use of airport lounges.

Scottish Labour said the spending pointed to waste and financial mismanagement by the SNP-led government.

The National: The FM made the comments during an appearance at the FringeThe FM made the comments during an appearance at the Fringe (Image: PA)

Speaking at a live recording of Matt Forde's The Political Party podcast at the Fringe on Tuesday, Yousaf was asked about the revelations. 

“These were spends that were made a number of years ago, between 2019 and 2022," the FM said. 

"It's fair to ask the questions that people are asking about.

“Was this item spent? Why was it spent? Why was it bought by the civil service and potentially by government ministers?

“I will ask the Permanent Secretary [John-Paul Marks] to just review, 'Do we have the right procedures in place when it comes to spend?'."

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The data release also found that a variety of books were also purchased, including six copies of book of speeches by Sturgeon and 21 copies of How To Run A Government So That Citizens Benefit And Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy.

Yousaf insisted that civil servants reading books about governing well is "not a bad thing".

“I quite like my civil servants to read. But I do take the point. I think I saw some items on it, on the spend that was mentioned…" the FM added. 

The National: The permanent secretary will be tasked with the reviewThe permanent secretary will be tasked with the review (Image: NQ)

"I can understand why people have got questions.

“I will ask the Permanent Secretary to take a look at, Do we have the robust rules in place when it comes to that kind of spend.”

Yousaf also defended the spending on airport security, pointing out that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spent tens of thousands of pounds on a private jet to visit Scotland.

“We absolutely have to be mindful of every penny and every pound that we spend, but we've also got to be mindful of people's security," he said. 

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The Scottish Government previously said they would not comment on the former first minister's travel arrangements for security reasons.

"The cards are not for personal expenditure and there are robust authorisation and regular auditing arrangements are in place to monitor their use," a spokesperson added. 

The vast majority of items revealed in the data included everyday purchases for civil servants working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown, including computer monitors.