THE Scotland Office has spent more than £75,000 on hospitality in just 16 months, The National can reveal.

Tory ministers forked out thousands of pounds on food, booze and staff at 26 events between March 2022 and July this year, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.

The lavish spending included £11,300 spent on hosting guests at Trooping the Colour in Dover House, London, in 2022, and £11,955.08 spent catering the same event in 2023.

READ MORE: Scotland Office's lavish £75k spending on hospitality events - see the full list

And, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack’s four media reception events cost the taxpayer £15,991.49.

The SNP blasted the spending and said the Scotland Office was a “defunct department that only serves to rip off Scottish voters”.

The Scotland Office declined to give a full breakdown of the spending, stating that they use a “number of external caterers” who combine costs for food, drink and staffing in their invoices.

The spending for the 26 events, held at Dover House, Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh, and at a number of other locations across Scotland, totalled £75,568.48.

The National: Jack at the Royal Highland ShowJack at the Royal Highland Show (Image: PA)

The Scotland Office spent £58,474.98 on 10 events in its London HQ in Whitehall, £7,7834.37 for seven events at its offices in Edinburgh, and £9,369.13 for nine events hosted at varying locations across Scotland.

The most expensive events at Dover House were Trooping the Colour, followed by 2023’s summer ministerial media reception, £6954.17, a Burns Supper in 2023, £6750, a summer parliamentary reception, £5900, and lunch for the moderator of the Church of Scotland in 2022, costing £5700.

In Edinburgh, the Scotland Office paid £2543.68 to host its summer ministerial media reception in 2022, £1195 for an Edinburgh Festival Reception, and £1393.64 for its winter media reception the same year.

Elsewhere, officials paid out £2581.68 for a Royal Highland Show reception in Edinburgh in 2022.

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They also held a number of “regional engagement dinners”, the most expensive in Glasgow at £1730, and spent £1095 in the Highlands, £440.70 in Lanarkshire and £357.80 in Argyll and Bute.

The Scotland Office said the cash was part of “promoting the best interests of Scotland” in its response.

“These facilitate discussions between the UK Government and key Scottish, UK and international stakeholders. Many of these events include attendees from across Scotland’s political parties,” the FOI response added.

However, the SNP hit back at the “zombie department” and criticised the lavish spending.

The National: Kirsty Blackman MP (Aberdeen North, Scottish National Party)speaking after Prime Minister Theresa May made a statement in the House of Commons, London, where she told MPs that tomorrow's "meaningful vote" on her Brexit deal had been

Kirsty Blackman MP (above), the SNP’s cabinet office spokesperson, said: “The Scotland Office is a defunct department and one that only serves to rip off Scottish voters and attack the democratically elected government and Parliament of Scotland.

“If this zombie department wants to be truly representative of and for Scotland, the Scotland Office should be using its influence to rail against UK government plans to impose Brexit against our will, and fighting back against the Westminster power grab on Holyrood.

“Instead it has existed only to serve as a propaganda unit for the Tory government – with Alister Jack acting as the Cabinet’s man in Scotland, rather than Scotland’s man in the Cabinet.

“The only way we can rid ourselves of Tory governments we don’t elect, and the wasteful spending of a UK government department which does precisely nothing for Scotland, is with the full powers of independence.”

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The Scotland Office said it does not “have staff dedicated to provide hospitality, for events where no contractor is engaged, staff from other areas of the office help out”.

We previously told how the UK Government department was blasted for spending £1,123,199 on spin doctors and communications staff to deal with journalist's queries.

The spending was an increase of £178,554 on the previous year.

The National also previously analysed the number of meetings, and who Jack has had them with as he marked three years as Scottish Secretary last year.