Secretary kept bonus secret

A former MP accused of fiddling his expenses has told a court that a secretary paid herself more than £5000 from his staffing allowance without his knowledge.

Jim Devine, 57, who held a seat in the House of Commons for Livingston, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court for falsely claiming almost 9000 from the public purse.

The former Labour backbencher said office manager Marion Kinley was authorised to speak to the fees office on his behalf. Devine told the court Ms Kinley paid herself 1000 in overtime, and 4300 as a bonus.