A Labour MSP has come under fire after he posted false allegations regarding an SNP MP’s air travel expenses.
Neil Findlay, who is the Labour list MSP for Lothian, posted a tweet in which he said SNP MP Mhairi Black “loves” business class.
In the social media message, Findlay wrote: ‘Looks like the party on the expenses is in full flow – Mhairi Black tribune of the people loves “Business class” ‘
The claim was based on a story published by the Scottish Daily Express which implied SNP MPs had enjoyed ”luxury” business class flights between Scotland and London at taxpayer’s expense. The story featured images of what appeared to be opulent seating enjoyed by the MPs.
However following analysis of the newspaper article by online site Wings Over Scotland [WOS], it has emerged that there are in fact no business class flights between Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.
According to WOS, the only airline that flies from either airport to Heathrow is British Airways, and it only offers Economy-class seats.
Budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet have flights to Stansted (twice as far away, at 30 miles), but neither offers business class.
It has also emerged that the image of luxury seating that accompanied the newspaper article is in fact from a United Arab Emirates business-class cabin that flies to Dubai.
In a further embarrassing revelation, a comparison of expenses between Mr Findlay’s former Labour colleagues and their SNP replacements has revealed the cost to the public purse for air travel has in fact fallen since the Labour MPs were replaced.
WOS writes: “Because in the year since the 2015 election when SNP MPs replaced almost all of the Scottish Labour and Lib Dems ones, the total expenses bill for flights has come DOWN by £9,000 and down by almost £42,000 from the year before that.”
The WOS article adds: “So what the Express and Neil Findlay have portrayed as SNP MPs living high on the hog on luxurious champagne travel is in fact a story of them SAVING the taxpayer money and sitting in the exact same seats with the exact same service as anyone else, only with tickets allowing for the uncertain schedule of Parliamentary business.”
At the time of publication of this article, Neil Findlay [pictured] has refused calls do delete his tweet and issue an apology.
Note: Images above courtesy of Wings Over Scotland
Readers may be interested to know that the book by GA Ponsonby, ‘London Calling: How the BBC stole the Referendum’ is once again available in paperback. Order here: LondonCalling.scotViews: 14750