Penny Mordaunt rips into SNP over huge bill racked up on ‘foreign jolly’

Penny Mordaunt rips into SNP over £148,000 bill from Cop 27

Penny Mordaunt ripped into the SNP for racking up a taxpayer bill of almost £150,000 attending Cop 27 in Egypt.

A Freedom of Information request revealed then leader Nicola Sturgeon and other delegates spent £148,000 on their trip to the climate change conference in Sharm El Sheikh last year.

The Commons leader raised the amount spent during business questions in the chamber today.

Ms Mordaunt also tore into the SNP over the ongoing police investigation into its finances and reports this week that their auditors are missing some financial records.

The Conservative Cabinet minister was responding to a question from the SNP’s Richard Thomson who demanded a debate on six police forces in England in special measures.

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But Ms Mordaunt hit back: “The honorable gentleman quite often criticises me for being well prepared for our exchanges.

“But if being well prepared is the qualification for a person doing my job, then surely it is self-delusion and lack of self-awareness that is the necessary condition for the opposition on the SNP benches.

“Because only an SNP spokesman would come to this question session and ask me a question about police investigations and police performance.

“Maybe that self-delusion is hard to sustain in the wake of tens of police investigations, of more news this week of missing accounts frustrating the SNP’s auditors from being able to complete their task, and also news of exactly how much Scottish taxpayers’ money has been spent by the SNP on just one of their foreign jollies.

“For Cop 27 they blew nearly £150,000 and not content with staying in Sharm El Sheikh and flying back to Scotland, they also managed to do an overnight in Milan.

“No wonder so many of the honorable gentleman’s colleagues are heading off. Quitting because the going is too tough in opposition is really quite something.”

SNP delegates spent £44,665 on 25 rooms at the luxury Parrotel Beach Resort for the climate change summit in 2022.

Flying out cost more than £14,000, with many attendees staying overnight in Milan en route to their final destination.

They spent nearly £3,000 on food including ordering ice cream, pizza and sushi.

The biggest single expense was £75,705 for office space and the pavilion, The Telegraph reported.

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Douglas Lumsden, Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, said: “This is an astonishing sum for the Scottish government to have shelled out so that Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP figures could grandstand at Cop 27.

“People will be appalled that, at the height of a cost-of-living crisis and savage SNP cuts to public services, no expense was spared sending the former First Minister and her entourage to Sharm El-Sheikh.

“It speaks volumes about the nationalists’ priorities that she chose to focus on promoting herself on the global stage, rather than deal with the real issues facing ordinary Scots.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “A Scottish presence at Cop 27 was vital in order to continue the legacy of Cop 26 in Glasgow – not least in pushing for greater action to support global south countries experiencing loss and damage as a result of climate change.

“Ministers and officials undertook a significant programme of engagement with national and regional governments, climate experts and campaigners, including those from the global south.

“Cop is the single most important annual event for agreeing action on the climate crisis, and this level of engagement and cooperation would not have been possible without attending in person.”

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