Alex Salmond spends £48k on flights to Brave premiere in California

Ruth Doherty
Alex Salmond spends £48k on flights to Brave premiere in California
Alex Salmond spends £48k on flights to Brave premiere in California


Alex Salmond spent almost £50,000 on flights for him and his entourage to attend the premiere of Brave in California, according to new figures.

Flights for civil servants accompanying the First Minister on the four-day trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco came to £48,000.

The figures, released under freedom of information legislation, also reveal that Scottish ministers and their civil servants have spent £8.4 million of taxpayers' money on a record number of flights since SNP took power five years ago, according to the Telegraph.

There have been 32,000 flights for SNP officials, with more than 4,000 business and first-class journeys all around the world.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister, charged the taxpayer up to £564.25 for a return flight from Edinburgh to London last year, despite the fact flights can be bought for less than £100 with budget airlines.

Among other flight costs revealed are £5,500 for a civil servant to travel to Chicago and back and more than £20,000 on five business class tickets for officials to go to Doha and Abu Dhabi.

Alex Salmond: PA

Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Green Party co-leader, said: "SNP ministers like to lecture people about the need to be green but they fail to put their money where their mouth is.

"It's time they were brought down to earth and had to make do like the rest of us. When parliament debates the Budget later this year, we should place a cap on their travel costs."

A Scottish Government spokesman told the Telegraph they have cut the cost of air travel for official business by 44 per cent since 2006-7, adding: "Foreign travel is tightly controlled and business class only approved for long flights where it is necessary to deal with official business immediately upon landing."

Meanwhile, Alex Salmond has said the Disney-Pixar animated Brave, set in the Highlands, could boost tourism, giving a £140 million injection to the Scottish economy

He told the Daily Record: "This is a fantastic opportunity for tourism and outdoor activity businesses to build on the positive messages around this wonderful story and so give fans the ultimate Brave experience when they come to Scotland.

"Brave melds elements of our magnificent castles, iconic historic sites and sweeping landscapes into a feisty fairytale.

"The TV and film campaign will reach around 80million people and spread the word about the opportunities to be experienced here in the land of the Brave."


Sign up to our weekly newsletter
Follow us on TwitterBecome a fan on Facebook