Nicola Sturgeon: It was right that Glasgow Lord Provost 'reflected' on controversial expenses claims

Glasgow Lord Provost Eva Bolander
Glasgow Lord Provost Eva Bolander
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Nicola Sturgeon has said Glasgow's Lord Provost was "absolutely right" to reflect on her expenses claims after she was criticised for spending more than £8,000 on items including clothing and beauty products.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister refused, however, to back calls for Eva Bolander to resign from the role.

Raising the issue at First Minister's Questions on Thursday after the spending was first reported by the Daily Record this week, Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins said Ms Bolander had "ripped off the people of Glasgow".

READ MORE: Glasgow Lord Provost apologises after anger over expenses claims

Among her expenses, Ms Bolander claimed for 23 pairs of shoes, a £200 hat designed by Kate Moss, and spent £751 on haircuts.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Eva Bolander, who I think is an excellent Lord Provost for the city of Glasgow, has, I think rightly and very frankly, reflected on some of the expense claims she made, all of which I will say were within the rules, but nevertheless reflected on those and decided herself that she should not have made certain claims. I think that is the right decision.

"Beyond that, all of us as elected politicians have to be careful and considered about our expense claims.

"But I don't think any of us want to have a situation where it's only people who can take on those roles, particularly those like Lord Provost, that require attendance at a lot of formal functions, that its only people who can afford to equip themselves for that that can take on those roles.

"The Lord Provost has herself reflected and I think she was absolutely right to do so."

READ MORE: Politicians call for Eva Bolander's resignation over expenses claims

In a letter sent to her Glasgow City Council colleagues on Wednesday, Ms Bolander said her expenses claims had been "made in good faith and scrupulously accounted for".

However, she admitted there were some purchases she regrets claiming for, suggesting that she could pay some of the money back.

Ms Bolander wrote: "In submitting claims, I have always tried to ask myself the question 'Would I require this if I were not Lord Provost?'

"Each has been made in good faith and scrupulously accounted for, within the rules.

"Although the spending incurred was within the rules, on reflection, there are items which I should not have chosen to reclaim.

"I am sorry about that and I am in discussion with financial services to come to an arrangement to repay the relevant expenditure."

Ms Bolander added: "It has always been recognised that the role of Lord Provost carries an additional cost, taking place as it does almost entirely in the public eye.

"However, the role of First Citizen must be open to any elected member of the council.

"I hope we can all agree that it is appropriate to ensure that members who might take on this position are not excluded from doing so by not having the resources to carry out the role."