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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 13:11 GMT
Ex-MSP probed over expense claims
Keith Raffan
Mr Raffan is being investigated over his expenses
Officials at Holyrood have launched an investigation into travel expense claims made by former MSP Keith Raffan.

The Liberal Democrat appears to have charged for trips in his constituency when he was on a visit to the Isle of Man.

Mr Raffan, dubbed Scotland's most expensive MSP, resigned his Mid Scotland and Fife seat last month on health grounds.

He has been unavailable for comment on the new moves over his expenses claims.

Mr Raffan celebrated Commonwealth Day on the Isle of Man four years ago.

The Manx parliament's website confirms his programme included meetings, visits and a dinner at which he was guest speaker.

'Extensive' probe

Mr Raffan claimed mileage from the Scottish Parliament for a return journey between Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy for the same day.

A Holyrood spokesman said the travel claim will be "examined thoroughly".

The former MSP quit amid a storm of protest a few weeks after it emerged he had picked up 41,000 in back-claimed travel costs.

He topped the list for MSPs' expenses, claiming a total of 108,826. Mr Raffan insisted it covered a three-year period.

"My expenses for the last financial year were significantly inflated by the payment of a very considerable backlog of travel expenses covering a three-year period," he said at the time.

Former Conservative

He added: "I did not give my travel expenses sufficient priority as I put my constituents and parliamentary work at a higher priority."

Aberdeen-born Mr Raffan came to Holyrood from a journalistic background, starting off as a freelance journalist in the early 1970s and becoming a Sunday Express diary columnist in 1976.

In 1981 he became a parliamentary correspondent and sketch writer with the Daily Express.

He was a Tory MP in North Wales for nine years from 1983, and in the 1990s worked as a TV presenter and interviewer for HTV Wales.

New MSP takes up Holyrood place
12 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Health forces MSP to stand down
07 Jan 05 |  Scotland
MSP expenses hit a total of 8m
22 Dec 04 |  Scotland
MSPs' expenses revealed
04 Dec 03 |  Scotland


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