Claim: The "First Minister's house repairs cost taxpayer £855,000", as reported by STV News and illustrated with a picture of Humza Yousaf.

Who owns Bute House?

Located on Charlotte Square in Edinburgh's West End, Bute House is the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland.

The Scottish Government leases the building from the National Trust for Scotland, who have owned the property since 1966.

As such, the building cannot accurately be described as Humza Yousaf's "house".

It is, rather, a temporary residence for him and his family during his tenure as First Minister - much as it has been for his predecessors.

Indeed, pre-devolution it was the official residence of the Secretary of State for Scotland.

The four-storey house contains the Cabinet Room and offices for Scottish Government staff, as well as a reception and dining area for entertaining guests, including world leaders.

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Who paid for the repairs?

The Scottish Government is responsible for upkeep of the property, including maintenance, repairs and ensuring it provides appropriate accommodation for the First Minister and their family.

On Friday, it was revealed that last year's repairs on the Georgian building cost £856,307.59.

Just over £200,000 was spent on internal fire safety work, while almost £600,000 was spent on repairs to the roof, stonework and replacing windows.

Around £30,000 was also spent on protecting artwork and other objects within the building.

Work on the property began just weeks after Yousaf was sworn in as First Minister and were therefore in the works long before he was elected in the SNP leadership contest. 

The National: The former FM at Bute HouseThe former FM at Bute House (Image: -)

The Scottish Government therefore had to source a residence for Yousaf and his family while the repairs took place, as they would for any first minister regardless of political party. 

A three-bedroom flat in central Edinburgh was rented to accommodate Yousaf, his wife and two children for five months. In total, this cost £29,546.67.

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A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “Alternative accommodation arrangements were put in place for the First Minister.

“A number of properties were reviewed and the one selected was the best fit in terms of cost, security and size.”

They added: “While the repair works were undertaken, in line with handling and care advice provided by Historic Environment Scotland and National Galleries of Scotland, all national collection artworks were removed from the building and placed into storage,” the government said.

“In addition, chandeliers in the drawing, cabinet and dining rooms were covered in specialist material to protect them from dust or debris, and a plywood cover was built around the drawing room fireplace and rococo mirror.

“Furniture in the drawing room, dining room and cabinet room was removed to a St Andrew’s House storage area for the duration of the works.”

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Fact check verdict:

It's not the First Minister's "house". It's the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland.

That means it's an office as well as a venue for welcoming foreign leaders, campaigners, politicians and whoever else is invited by the current First Minister. It also needs to be able house the FM and his family.

The implication that this renovation solely benefits Yousaf or that the building should be allowed to fall into disrepair is nothing but spin.

The building is an asset to Scotland and should be regarded as such, regardless of your political stripes.