£400,000 cost of Alex Salmond’s London club during Olympics
THE Scottish Government will spend a total of £400,000 during the Olympics on hiring out the Pall Mall club in London, which Alex Salmond is using to showcase Scotland, it has emerged.
SNP ministers disclosed that £25,000 of taxpayers’ money was being spent every day of the Olympics on the gentlemen’s club - temporarily renamed Scotland House - to entertain businessmen and dignitaries.
The cost of the venue, which is normally the Army and Navy Club, has angered opposition parties because the First Minister could have used a far cheaper alternative in the Scotland Office’s Dover House, only half a mile away on Whitehall.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie told The Telegraph last night: “The SNP government spent £400,000 because it won’t work with the UK government.
“It is ridiculous that the Scottish taxpayer has to bear the brunt of a rivalry spawned and propagated by the SNP. Dover House is one of the UK Government’s finest buildings.”
The First Minister officially opened Scotland House - which he has dubbed his “London embassy” - before the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, with a reception attended by Lulu and The Proclaimers. The hire will end on August 12, when the Games finish.
A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said the cost compared favourably to the £315,000 spent on a ‘Scotland House’ in Delhi during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
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