Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 14:41 UK

Salmond to repay 700 in expenses

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Alex Salmond has urged other MPs to accept Sir Thomas Legg's ruling

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is to repay more than £700 following the independent audit of MPs' expenses.

Mr Salmond had claimed £710.88 for removal costs when he gave up his rented London flat in 2007.

The SNP leader has also been asked to supply further information on £2,610 claimed for hotel stays.

The party said six of its seven MPs either had to repay money or had been asked to give further details about their claims.

Mr Salmond said: "My response is: I'll pay it. When you call in a referee, then you accept the referee's verdict.

"It seems to me there's no point quibbling about it, there's no point in debating it further, so, Thomas Legg has asked me to pay £710 and that's exactly what I'll do."

Mr Salmond said he wished he had argued more strongly for Westminster to emulate the example of the Scottish Parliament which had already successfully reformed its expenses system.

Sofabed claim

The SNP is the only party to have so far fully disclosed which of its MPs is to repay expenses.

The party said Perth and Perthshire North MP Pete Wishart has been asked to repay £1,632 over a duplicate claim for flat rental and a utility bill.

Angus Robertson, MP for Moray, is repaying £1,217 for a sofabed and DVD recorder and is providing rental and mortgage statements as requested.

Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie is repaying £379 for hotel costs claimed in February 2009 when his flat flooded and was uninhabitable. The MP should have reclaimed this cost from his insurance, the SNP said.

And Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil is repaying a partial council tax bill of £133 for 2007/08.

Mr MacNeil is also asking for clarification from the auditor, Sir Thomas Legg, over what he called "unavoidable" hotel stays in Glasgow. He said these were incurred en-route to his island constituency and had previously been agreed with Commons authorities.



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