Treasury Chief Secretary Greg Hands MP has been urged to “get on the first flight back to Britain” from his holiday in France to help unblock the deadlock on Holyrood's new tax powers.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said that to take the half-term time holiday at such a crucial time in negotiations over the fiscal framework for the Scotland Bill "beggars’ belief."
The Scottish Parliament's Convener of the Finance Committee, Kenneth Gibson MSP described Mr Hands’ holiday as “unbelievable” and “disrespectful” to the process. Mr Hands will appear before the Committee on 24 February.
A Treasury spokeswoman confirmed that Mr Hands, who is leading the UK government side in the talks, spoke to Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP by phone while taking "a long-planned, short half-term break" in France.