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Benson's £9000 Fee For Portraits

A world-famous photographer paid £9,000 of public money to take pictures of two of Scotland’s most senior politicians believes he is “worth every penny” reports the BBC.

Scottish Parliament officials will pay Harry Benson a fee of £4,000 for portraits of Scots politicos George Reid and Lord Steel, while the cost of flights from the US and two nights in Edinburgh are expected to be another £1,000.

Mr Benson, who has worked with 10 US presidents and The Beatles, visited the Scottish Parliament on Thursday to select potential locations for Friday’s photo shoot.

His most famous shots include a 1964 picture of The Beatles having a pillow fight after hearing that I Wanna Hold Your Hand was number one in the US charts.

Solidarity MSP Tommy Sheridan and Tory MSP Bill Aitken were among those who said the cost to the taxpayer seemed “excessive”.

The politicians’ portraits will form part of Holyrood’s art collection, although Mr Reid’s picture will not be publicly shown until he steps down in the summer.

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