Former Labour MP and now Lord, John Reid, has defended the use of £1000s of taxpayer’s cash in order to ferry him around in a chauffeured driven luxury car.
The former North Lanarkshire MP who recently joined a host of other Scottish Labour MPs in the House of Lords remained defiant after it emerged that he had used the publicly funded Jaguars in order to ferry himself to Celtic matches and meetings at a cost of over £4000.
The remainder of the cost was mostly for trips between the former Labour Minister’s Lanarkshire home and Glasgow Airport.
A spokesman for Lord Reid defended the use of a chauffeur and claimed that it was needed for “personal protection”. Lord Reid’s former cabinet colleague David Blunkett called criticism of Lord Reid “a cheap shot” and claimed that Reid had held the three most dangerous positions in government.
However details of the leaked arrangement suggest that Reid was considered a low risk and his drivers were not trained in security protection.
SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “Spending £4000 of taxpayers’ money in this fashion is outrageous.
“Former defence and Northern Ireland ministers are entitled to security but Reid is abusing that. Hiring limos for football games at taxpayers’ expense is unacceptable.”
The revelation is acutely embarrassing for the Labour party who only this week issued a press release attacking the cost of car leasing for health professionals. Labour’s health spokesperson Jackie Baillie had called the NHS leasing scheme “perks for executives”.
Last year Labour criticised the SNP’s John Swinney after the Finance Secretary took a short journey to a television studio in a ministerial limousine.