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Last Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Pension approved for former MSP
Keith Raffan
Keith Raffan applied for his MSP pension on the grounds of ill health
The former MSP Keith Raffan is to be allowed to claim his 15,000 pension, despite irregularities in his expenses.

Mr Raffan, 56, resigned in January because of ill health days after he submitted a backdated travel expenses claim for 41,000.

The parliament has decided he should be entitled to access his pension early on medical grounds.

Mr Raffan said he could account for every mile of his travel expenses over four years.

He claimed 430 for driving around his constituency in Mid Scotland and Fife in 2001 on the same day he was one of the speakers at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on the Isle of Man.

The 41,154 claim was double that of any other MSP and the equivalent of 83,000 miles or driving around the world three times in his Skoda car.

Meeting with auditors

Holyrood officials said the full expenses claim had been examined by the Holyrood auditors Deloitte and Touche and Mr Raffan had been invited to a face-to-face meeting to discuss the details.

A Holyrood spokesman said: "The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body is fully satisfied that on the basis of medical evidence that it has seen, that he's entitled to his pension.

"We cannot pre-empt the outcome of our meeting with Mr Raffan but it's correct that the parliament would be entitled to pursue the return of any allowances incorrectly claimed or received."

Mr Raffan served a nine-year stint as a Conservative MP in North Wales from 1983, but his support for devolution led to his defection to the Lib Dems.

Mr Raffan was not available for comment and the Liberal Democrats said he was no longer a member of the party.


SEE ALSO:
Ex-MSP probed over expense claims
21 Jan 05 |  Scotland
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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