AN SNP MP has demanded to know “what on Earth” staff at the “pointless” Scotland Office do, as she highlighted the department’s soaring costs.

Deidre Brock asked the UK Government could “justify” its spend on the department, after it was revealed the Scotland Office’s budget had “jumped” by more than £3 million since 2018.

After a campaign by The National for the department to reveal how many staff it employed at its outpost in Edinburgh, Brock managed to obtain the headcount by putting a formal parliamentary question to the Government.

Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, Brock said: “Despite devolution rendering it pointless, the budget of the Scotland Office along with that of the [Advocate General] has jumped by over £3 million since 2018-19, leaping up by £1.2m just last year, while the Scottish Government’s budget allocation suffered a real-terms cut.

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“Around 80 people currently work in Queen Elizabeth House alone for the Scotland Office, along with around 30 [Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities] civil servants. What on Earth are they doing and how does he justify that to the Scottish taxpayer?”

Scotland Office Minister John Lamont replied: “The team at the Scotland Office, both in Dover House [in London] and in Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh are doing a tremendous job supporting Scotland across the United Kingdom and around the world.

“I’d be very happy to welcome [Brock] to join me to meet some of them, so she can understand more clearly the important work that they do on our behalf across the UK.”