Salmond gets 72 gifts since election win

ALEX SALMOND has received 72 gifts since he became First Minister, ranging from books to paintings and alcohol to crystal.

Under the ministerial code, he can retain gifts valued at less than 140 and has decided he will keep 29 of them "for private use".

The Scottish Government gave details of the four gifts which were valued at over 140. They included a painting from artist John Lowrie Morrison and a plaque from Scottish Power.

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But it only gave general categories for the other 68 – 12 were alcohol, four were food, two were glass or crystal ware, three were ornaments, one was jewellery, seven were art, 16 were books, three were china, five were clothing and 15 were "outside these categories".

Lothians Labour MSP George Foulkes, who obtained the information in a parliamentary answer, said: "I would have expected more gifts to have gone to good causes and his failure to publish the full details speaks volumes for the Government's commitment to openness and transparency."

A spokeswoman said a full register of gifts to the First Minister, Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers would be published soon.