Former minister almost gave whisky to alcohol rehab group

The faux pas by a minister in the former Scottish Executive was revealed in newly-released files.

Whisky: Drink nearly given as gift to rehab group.
Whisky: Drink nearly given as gift to rehab group.

A minister in the former Scottish Executive nearly gave whisky to an alcohol rehab project, newly-released government documents reveal.

The incident led to civil servants drawing up “rough guide” on appropriate gifts, according to minutes from 2004 Scottish cabinet meetings.

The pamphlet includes real-life scenarios to illustrate situations staff may have come up against while working for the Scottish Executive, now the Scottish Government.

One referenced an unnamed minister almost giving whisky to an alcohol rehab group as a present.

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It said: “It is appropriate for the minister to give overseas hosts a gift.

“External relations are good sources of advice about what to give and are able to provide gifts at a substantially reduced cost – meaning you don’t have to buy them and then claim the money back.

“The executive will normally offer whisky and shortbread. But do think of your hosts.

“The minister very nearly gave whisky to an alcohol rehab project. It would not have been very well received by the staff.”

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