The UK government is examining the Scottish government’s independence spending

Simon Case told Members of the House of Lords that he and his colleagues are “examining some of these details” relating to officials in Edinburgh working on the SNP-Green government’s efforts to leave the UK.

The Cabinet Secretary’s comments come just two weeks after the Scottish office denied such an inquiry had taken place.

CONTINUE READING: No inquiry into Scottish Government independence spending by a magistrate

Much confusion reigned earlier this month when Labor colleague George Foulkes claimed the Advocate General for Scotland was looking into how the Scottish Government is spending taxpayers’ money.

That was soon denied by a UK government spokesman, although the Cumnock Baron had received an email from the magistrate.

During a meeting of the Lord’s Constitutional Committee on Tuesday, Lord Foulkes asked Mr Case whether the Edinburgh spending would be examined.

The Labor colleague then specifically asked about Jamie Hepburn, the Scottish Government’s Independence Secretary, and the team of 20 officials who support his work.

Mr Case replied: “We are currently examining some of these details and are currently doing so with ministers to see if we need to provide officials with further guidance and clarification on what is and is not reasonable spending.”

“I don’t want to prejudge the outcome of that.”

Lord Foulkes then urged the Mandarin on. “The principle would be that they normally [civil servants] “They shouldn’t spend money and spend their time in reserved areas,” he said. “To give a silly example, if they were dealing with defense issues it would clearly be insane, but the Constitution is certainly an equally important area.

“If officials are effective in supporting ministers who want to break up the UK, and they are UK officials who are paid out of taxpayers’ money, that would be a little unusual and a little worrying, wouldn’t it?”

Mr Case replied: “I agree with you it would be unusual and somewhat concerning which is why we are looking at the details of the cases that you and other members regularly raise in correspondence.”

Stressing the need to ensure the public service remains impartial, Mr Case added: “To be clear: I believe they have carefully considered these edge cases.

“But as I said, I want to go over them all again with colleagues in Scotland and with ministers to ensure that we are doing absolutely what we should be doing to protect and maintain that impartiality.”

Asked when guidance would be released, Mr Case said: “I hope it will be weeks.”

CONTINUE READING: Humza Yousaf: Independence Minister worth £32,000 is ‘absolutely worth it’

The SNP reacted angrily to the announcement.

The leader of the party in Westminster, Stephen Flynn, said: “To have blurted out this anti-democratic stance in a House of Lords committee is a mistake by the British Government.”

“We’ll see what comes of it, but anything that further undermines the notion that the UK is a voluntary union of countries will backfire in Scotland and result in support for independence being further strengthened. ”

“This reflects a partisan political agenda and Simon Case admitted he is working with Tory ministers to potentially prevent the Scottish Government from fulfilling its democratic mandate of explaining the case for independence to the Scottish people.”

“The majority of MSPs were elected on the basis of an independence platform and it is the Scottish Government’s policy to make Scotland a nation state within the European Union.

“When Westminster dictates a double standard that the UK Government can work to preserve the union, but the Scottish Government cannot promote the benefits of independence, the notion that the UK is anything like a partnership of equals is undermined tested its destruction.”

CONTINUE READING: SNP Minister Elena Whitham apologizes for leaked WhatsApp messages

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government was elected with a clear mandate to provide the people of Scotland with the information they need to make an informed decision about their future.” It is the job of the public service to to assist the elected government of the day in developing and implementing their policies.”

Under Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Government began publishing a new multi-part prospectus entitled ‘Building a New Scotland’ in June last year, with two more parts in July and October.

A fourth was released last month.

During the SNP leadership contest, Mr Yousaf criticized the documents, saying it was material “that frankly is on a website and nobody is reading”.

In November it emerged that 25 civil servants with annual salaries of up to £1.5million were working on the Scottish Government prospectus, including one with a salary of up to £83,000.

HeraldScotland: Independence Secretary Jamie Hepburn

Last month, the Herald revealed that Mr Hepburn (above) has no budget and only one permanent employee works for him.

But on top of his MSP base salary of £67,662 in 2023/24, he will be paid an additional £31,854 as a minister.

Mr Yousaf gave the vacant job to the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP after promising to create the post of Secretary of State for Independence during the SNP’s top election campaign.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “There is growing disbelief that the SNP Green government is happy to spend valuable public money in this way.”

“People pay their taxes with the expectation that it will go towards important sectors such as the NHS, education and public services

“Instead, the Scottish Government is using substantial sums to fund nationalist propaganda and the SNP’s self-interested efforts to crush the UK.

“Ministers must end independence spending immediately.

“It’s time for the people’s priorities, not the SNP’s.”

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