Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has been accused of missing “key opportunities” to raise issues for his constituents at Holyrood so he could watch Rangers play in the Europa League final in Seville.
The politician was criticised for “deserting” his duties on Wednesday after it emerged he skipped parliament due to a midweek trip for the Eintracht Frankfurt clash.
Mr Fraser, who is pictured with fellow Mid Scotland and Fife Conservative MSP Dean Lockhart in Seville, previously criticised Nicola Sturgeon for a trip to the United States to meet with officials.
The Tory MSP was not present at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday for a session of portfolio questions on Scotland’s Covid recovery.
He would normally be expected to attend as the opposite number to Covid recovery secretary John Swinney and as chair of the coronavirus committee at Holyrood.
Mr Fraser was also selected to ask a general question at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday but records show this was “not lodged”.
He could have asked the question remotely but it appears he elected not to do so.
MSP accused of ‘sheer hypocrisy’
Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “The sheer hypocrisy of Murdo Fraser has been laid bare for all to see.
“Two key opportunities to advocate for his constituents in parliament have now been missed.
“The ultimate irony is how he talked down the first minister being in the US on official business on the very same week he was too busy getting selfies in the Seville sun to speak up for Mid Scotland and Fife.
“No one grudges his desire to see his team play in Europe – but to fail to turn up to parliament, especially when it can be done virtually, will not be forgotten quickly by those he represents.”
The thing is he could have asked his question with the virtual facilities offered by the Scottish Parliament from Seville. He didn't even need to take off his sombrero or try and hide the warming bottle of Corona…..
— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) May 19, 2022
Spokesman claims ‘double standards’
A spokesman for Mr Fraser accused the SNP of “breathtaking” double standards.
“They didn’t criticize the then UK minister and leader of the House of Commons, Dr John Reid, when he went to Seville to watch Celtic in 2003,” he said.
“As ever with the SNP, and as we have seen with ridiculous outbursts from Humza Yousaf and James Dornan in the past, they lose no opportunity to attack Rangers and its fans.
“Murdo was pleased to meet with dozens of Perthshire constituents whilst in Seville, who will be taking a very dim view of Pete Wishart’s ridiculous comments.”
Funnily enough, I don’t recall criticism of Dr John Reid, then Leader of the House of Commons, going to Seville to watch Celtic in 2003. But maybe it’s one rule for them….
— Murdo Fraser (@murdo_fraser) May 19, 2022
Posting a similar message on Twitter minutes earlier, Mr Fraser added, in an apparent reference to Celtic fans: “But maybe it’s one rule for them…”
Lord Reid, a lifelong Celtic fan, was asked to attend the 2003 final as the UK Government’s representative by then-prime minister Tony Blair.
The House of Commons went into recess the day after the match.