ONE of the top figures in the SNP has branded the BBC’s reporting on the Scottish Government expenses “extraordinary” as he highlighted the prominence given to the story.

Former minister Keith Brown, the deputy leader of the SNP, suggested it was inappropriate for a story about spending by Scottish Government civil servants billed to the taxpayer to feature so prominently on the BBC’s website.

Responding to a thread on Twitter in which Ross Aitchison, an architect with Collective Architecture, accused the BBC of lacking “rigour” in its reporting, Brown said: “In addition, it was carried on BBC international news, alongside stories on international efforts to save the Brazilian rainforest, and the latest situation in Niger. Just extraordinary!”

It is understood the story was carried on broadcast bulletins alongside stories of national and international importance, though it only ran online on the UK and Scottish sections of the BBC’s website.

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First Minister Humza Yousaf has ordered a review into the £14.2 million spend by civil servants between September 2019 and August 2022.

It was widely reported civil servants had expensed a £375 bill from the Brewhemia pub near Waverley station in Edinburgh and that there were around 3000 entries with no descriptions against them.

Other purchases reportedly included yoga classes and nail polish.

The figures had been obtained by Scottish Labour through Freedom of Information requests and shared with the BBC and newspapers.

A BBC source told The National the story had ran on its broadcast bulletins alongside other national and international items, as “is common”.

The BBC declined to comment.

Brown's comments were echoed by former first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who was leader of the Scottish Government during the time covered by the data, during her appearance at the Fringe on Thursday

She hit back at reporting which had focused on the cost of her flights while in office, telling an audience: "There's something about Scottish politics, is it uniquely Scottish politics? I don't know.

"But it's particularly the case in Scottish politics just now there's just something really kind of lacking in perspective about how we're debating and having these things reported.

"There’s definitely big issues there that perhaps should be getting more coverage than a first minister’s travel arrangements."

The Scottish Government has previously said their expenses scheme was robustly monitored and audited.