Scotland politics

Inquiry call over purdah breach claims

Ross Thomson
Image caption Ross Thomson raised a point of order at Holyrood and has written to the government's permanent seretary

The Scottish Conservatives have called for an investigation over claims the Scottish government broke purdah rules.

The government had issued a media release on Tuesday about regeneration funding for Glasgow.

The Tories contend that the administration should not be making announcements which could have a bearing on Thursday's council vote.

A Scottish government spokesman said a response would be issued in "due course".

The Scottish government announced more than £8m of funding from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (Spruce) on Tuesday, targeted at Glasgow.

Guidance for civil servants issued in January stated that "particular care" should be taken in the weeks preceding elections, noting: "It needs to be borne in mind that the activities of the Scottish government could have a bearing on the local election campaigns".

Conservative MSP Ross Thomson raised a point of order following Wednesday's session of questions to the first minister, saying the announcement "looks like a blatant attempt to sway voters in an area that is being targeted by the SNP".

He said: "I have written to the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish government asking for an explanation as to how this could be announced just 48 hours before voters go to the polls.

"People need to have absolute confidence that public money is not being used for party political ends."

The Scottish government spokesman confirmed that a letter had been received by the permanent secretary. He added: "A response will be issued in due course."

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