A LABOUR-RUN Scottish council spent money put away for children’s toys to promote the King’s coronation, The National can reveal.

Edinburgh Council also raided its schools budget to pay for promotion of the lavish ceremony, figures obtained by the Alba Party show.

The Labour-run local authority also received £35,000 to show the event on a big screen in Princes Street Gardens.

The coronation received wall-to-wall coverage on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV and Sky News.

Council budgets in Scotland are under severe pressure and three months before the coronation, Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day (below) complained the city had received “worst grant funding of any local authority in Scotland”.

The National:

Announcing the local authority’s budget in February this year, Day announced cuts of nearly £80 million in the council’s spending.

He said: “Despite the unique demands of a capital city, Edinburgh continues to receive the worst grant funding of any local authority in Scotland.

“Years of local government cuts have now come to a head, forcing us to find close to £80m of savings this year – on top of the hundreds of millions we’ve made already. It’s a position none of us wanted to be in and our residents deserve better.”

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At the time of the coronation, inflation was running at 8.7%, piling pressure on household budgets.

Figures shared with The National show that the council spent £468.40 from Edinburgh’s nursery budget. A spokesperson was unable to say exactly how this money was used.

In its promotion of the coronation, city officials also spent £192.76 in cash from the council library budget’s promotion and toy fund for “materials to mark the coronation”.

It is understood this related to £185 spent on children’s craft events at libraries in Newington, Gilmerton, Moredun and Morningside. The remaining £7.76 is thought to have been spent on themed book displays in libraries.

And £666 was awarded to a street party from the council’s community grant fund.

Alba said using funds for children’s toys for coronation events was “beyond belief” and called for Day to quit as council leader if he signed off on the decision.

The National: Christopher McEleny Chris McEleny.

Chris McEleny (above), Alba’s general secretary, said: “This is a moral disgrace that tells you all you need to know about Labour-run Edinburgh Council.

“To think that any councillor worth their salt, regardless of your views on the monarchy, would take money from a kids toy fund to help promote the coronation is beyond belief.

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“You couldn’t miss the coronation unless you kept your TV turned off all day, so who thought it was a good idea to raid school budgets also?

“Edinburgh Council must make it clear if the council leader signed off on this. If he did he has to go.

“One thing I know for sure, if there were Alba Party councillors in the City Chambers this would not have happened.”

Edinburgh Council declined to comment.