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Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 06:31 GMT
Expenses 'misuse' ruling expected
John Reid graphic
Dr Reid denies the allegations
A House of Commons committee is to rule on whether Scottish Secretary Dr John Reid should face action over claims he used public money to help fund Labour's Scottish election campaign.

The standards and privileges committee has been examining claims that Dr Reid and Glasgow MP John Maxton broke parliamentary rules.

Tuesday's meeting, which will take place in private, follows a 10-month investigation by Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Elizabeth Filkin.

The initial inquiry was prompted by a complaint from Observer newspaper journalist Dean Nelson.

Elizabeth Filkin
Elizabeth Filkin has been investigating
The newspaper alleged that at least three full-time election campaigners were paid as part-time researchers by Dr Reid and Mr Maxton.

Senior Labour sources were reported to have said that the "donations in kind" were one of a number of payments concealed to keep Labour's election spending in last summer's election within the permitted 1.5m limit.

They reportedly began in May 1998 when Labour was neck and neck with the Scottish National Party for the prize of running Scotland's parliament.

Both Dr Reid and Mr Maxton have denied any wrongdoing.

Both have co-operated fully with the investigaton.

A spokesman for Dr Reid has said he will not be making any comment on the matter until after the committee has published its findings.

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See also:

28 Jan 00 | Scotland
Reid faces probe over election cash
11 Oct 99 | UK Politics
Reid remains at Scotland Office
18 Nov 99 | Scotland
Report clears Lobbygate MSPs
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