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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 21:02 GMT
In quotes: McLetchie steps down
David McLetchie has stood down as leader of the Scottish Conservatives following pressure over his taxi expenses. Here is reaction to his resignation.

SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY CHAIRMAN PETER DUNCAN

David has come back from holiday and reflected on the protracted nature of the coverage and has seen that it is a distraction from the work of the Scottish Conservatives in the parliament and in the country.

LABOUR LEADER AND FIRST MINISTER JACK MCCONNELL

Elected politicians should take great care when they are spending taxpayers' money.

I am sure that David McLetchie has made the right choice for his family and for the Scottish Parliament.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER NICOL STEPHEN

This is clearly a major blow to the Conservative Party.

However, if David McLetchie believes that he can no longer defend his position, he has clearly done the right thing.

SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY SPOKESPERSON

MSPs are accountable for the use of public money.

Given the long list of unanswered questions about his expenses, it appears Mr McLetchie's position has become untenable, and so resignation was the only appropriate course of action.

SUNDAY HERALD POLITICAL EDITOR PAUL HUTCHEON, WHO WAS INVESTIGATING THE EXPENSES

I think it's going to be difficult to explain why he was taking taxis back from Tory party fundraisers, I think that probably explains his resignation today.

This is the beginning of David McLetchie's troubles, not the end.

BILL AITKEN, TORY CHIEF WHIP AT HOLYROOD

It is a courageous decision to resign and the (Holyrood) group is very grateful to him for all he has done over the last six years.

TORY ENTERPRISE SPOKESMAN MURDO FRASER

It's sad to see someone brought down not by any failure of leadership or failure to make political progress but what are relatively trivial events surrounding expenses claims which in the great scheme of things would never have amounted to much had it not been for a campaign from certain sections of the press.

CONSERVATIVE MSP BRIAN MONTEITH

He has admitted to some honest errors which he has sought to rectify, at no time has he ever sought financial advantage but he has his own and his party's reputation to protect and by resigning the leadership he is bringing the matter to a close.

SCOTTISH SOCIALIST LEADER COLIN FOX

It seems the more he earns, the more he claims - McLetchie's taxi bill of 11,500 was in itself more than tens of thousands of Scots and their families have to live on in a year.



SEE ALSO:
McLetchie's resignation statement
31 Oct 05 |  Scotland
McLetchie 'reviews' taxi expenses
26 Oct 05 |  Scotland
McLetchie expenses 'misclaimed'
14 Oct 05 |  Scotland
McLetchie taxi details revealed
07 Oct 05 |  Scotland
McLetchie pressed on taxi claims
14 Jun 05 |  Scotland


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