DETAILS of staff working at the UK Government’s flagship hub in Edinburgh can finally be revealed – but ministers have been criticised for failing to provide “the full picture”.

The seven-storey Queen Elizabeth House was said to have been designed to house around 3000 civil servants from a range of departments.

The Sunday National previously revealed how the hub is costing £11 million a year to run, but attempts to establish the number of staff working there after it opened have been unsuccessful.

The Scotland Office was unable to provide information on how many of its staff work there, while building managers HM Revenue and Customs (HRMC) were only able to give numbers on their own department.

Following a written question lodged by SNP MP Deidre Brock (below), the UK Government has now provided numbers on staff based at Queen Elizabeth House, as of March 2023.

READ MORE: Scotland Office beggars belief to claim it has no record of staff numbers

But in the response, Cabinet Office minister John Glen said information on consultants based or employed at Queen Elizabeth House is “not centrally available”.

He also said additional departments and their civil servants may be based or employed at Queen Elizabeth House, but may not show in the data due to “non-reporting of postcode information”.

The National:

The information provided shows the vast majority – more than 80% of staff - are working for HMRC, with a total of 2220 out of the 2655 headcount listed.

The Scotland Office has a headcount total of 80, making it one of the larger departments alongside what was known as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy until February 2023, which had 85 staff.

When the hub was opened, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the hub would be a base for “more than a dozen UK Government departments which all have a key role in Scotland”.

A total of 20 departments are listed, but seven have only between one to four staff, including the Home Office.

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Other departments have less than a dozen staff working at Queen Elizabeth House, including the Cabinet Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport, both of which have 10 and the Department for Transport, which has a headcount of five.

SNP MP Brock said: "This gives a little more clarity for the taxpayer on who does what at Queen Elizabeth House, but it’s far from the full picture.

“The Cabinet Office doesn’t hold information on the number of consultants based or employed there and says there might be additional departments based at QE House but they can’t be named because they don’t identify their postcode.

“The vast majority of staff are in HMRC with only small numbers reported elsewhere - despite the UK Government trumpeting claims when the “hub” opened that it would be a base for more than a dozen other departments.

“What is the reason for this continued lack of transparency and how does the UK Government justify the hub's staggering running costs of £11m a year? I'll be pursuing this further."

When the hub was opened, Jack described it as a further “visible and tangible sign” of ministers delivering on a pledge to strengthen the UK - but it prompted accusations from the SNP that UK Government ministers were treating themselves to “swanky new offices at the public's expense”.

Queen Elizabeth House is one of the regional hubs and headquarters opened by the UK Government – including in Glasgow and Cardiff – which came with a commitment to have a regular ministerial presence.

However, a report from the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) published in July found this had not been met, with ministers “making flying visits rather than basing themselves outside London for significant amounts of time to conduct substantive work”.