McLetchie 'Did Not Fiddle His Expenses'

Daily Mail (London), June 15, 2005 | Go to article overview

McLetchie 'Did Not Fiddle His Expenses'


Byline: STUART NICOLSON

SCOTTISH Tory leader David McLetchie last night denied any wrongdoing in the face of allegations that he fiddled his taxi expenses.

Mr McLetchie said he had nothing to hide and claimed he was the victim of a vendetta.

The Tory leader has come under mounting pressure to disclose the details of taxi journeys he has claimed under parliamentary allowances.

Documents released under freedom of information rules have had most of the destinations blacked out, along with the names of other people using his account.

Both the Tories and Holyrood officials have said this is in keeping with parliamentary rules.

But it has sparked suggestions that some of the trips may have been to the Edinburgh law firm where Mr McLetchie had a second job until February this year.

He quit his work with Tods Murray after claims the job involved conflicts of interest with his role as MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands.

But a spokesman for Mr McLetchie yesterday insisted all his expenses claims were in line with strict parliament rules.

He said: 'All David's expenses relate to parliamentary and constituency business. We are not going into individual details of journeys or destinations.' Mr McLetchie had built his career on 'abiding by the rules, the guidelines and the regulations and that is what he is doing here', he added.

The spokesman went on: 'The parliament has decided a set of disclosure requirements under the Freedom of Information Act, to take into account personal security and data protection, and they've decided what information should go out and what is redacted. That is something that applies to every MSP.' The spokesman added: 'David has been singled out here among 129 people.' The row may now be resolved by the Scottish information commissioner Kevin Dunion, who has been asked to rule on whether Mr McLetchie's travel details should be made public. …

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