Scotland politics

Expenses of SNP MPs Hosie and MacNeil 'will not be investigated'

Angus MacNeil and Stewart Hosie
Image caption Angus MacNeil and Stewart Hosie were reported by Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw

The expenses of two SNP MPs reported to have had affairs with a journalist will not be investigated by Westminster's parliamentary standards watchdog.

Stewart Hosie and Angus MacNeil were reported by a Tory MSP over allegations they claimed expenses for accommodation while carrying out the affairs.

Westminster's Commissioner for Standards has decided not to look further into the claims.

Mr Hosie is to step down as SNP deputy leader in the autumn.

The commissioner, Kathryn Hudson, ruled that there was no basis for an inquiry, and that there was no evidence beyond the claims contained in a complaint letter from MSP Jackson Carlaw.

A spokesman for the SNP said the party was not surprised by the commissioner's decision not to investigate Mr Carlaw's complaint.

'Political stunt'

He added: "It was a political stunt and a hypocritical move given the long and proven history of Tory MPs abusing the expenses system, as well as the current police investigations into the Tory party for election fraud.

"Jackson Carlaw would do better to ensure his own party is acting in line with parliamentary rules rather than playing politics with people's private lives."

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: "We respect the decision of the Standards Commissioner.

"Our view is it is right to question such cases to ensure that public funds are always used in support of parliamentary duties."

Mr Hosie and Mr MacNeil were both reported to have had affairs with journalist Serena Cowdy.

Mr MacNeil was said to have stayed with Ms Cowdy at the Park Plaza hotel in London, and then claimed for the room on expenses.

Ms Cowdy is reported to have later been involved in a relationship with SNP deputy leader Mr Hosie, who recently separated from his wife, SNP MSP Shona Robison.

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