Japan trip ‘for a 90-minute conference’

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A council leader has been accused of spending thousands of taxpayers’ cash on a “jolly” to Japan – for a conference lasting just 90 minutes.

Barney Crockett spent three days in the Far East and an intinerary reportedly showed he spent a large part visiting tourist sights and hosting dinners.

Just 90 minutes was set aside for a visit to the International Hydrogen Fuel Expo – the reason the Aberdeen City Council chief gave for the 11,000-mile round trip last month.

Rival politician Callum McCaig of the SNP said: “From the agenda I’ve seen the visit was incredibly light on real work and has all the hallmarks of a jolly.

“It is full of visits, wining and dining that would be beyond the means of most people.”

But Mr. Crockett, leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “I was at the conference for a lot longer than an hour and a half.

“I think how the trip built up was of great support to hydrogen projects in the city which have a huge importance for the area.

“This is just more of the smear and bullying tactics we are seeing from the SNP, and they are trying to personalise it. But if I think something is right for the city then I will do it.”