SNP MP 'claimed for home cinema system' on expenses

THE SNP's leader in Westminster successfully appealed when Commons authorities turned down his claim for a £400 home cinema system, it was reported today.

Angus Robertson, MP for Moray, claimed for the money last year but was asked by the Fees Office if it was necessary.

He told them that the DVD player and recorder was "purchased to catch up with recorded political programmes and also has a built-in radio function".

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The claim was then paid, said the Daily Telegraph.

Other purchases included a coffee maker, 100 on Sabatier knives and 20 for a corkscrew, according to the paper.

He also bought a TV for 1,119 but the Fees Office only paid its "recommended maximum" of 750.

Claims for furniture – after Mr Robertson bought a 227,500 property in Lambeth, south London, in March 2006 – included 2,324 for a sofa bed from Habitat.

The paper said Mr Robertson made second home claims totalling more than 80,000 in the four years from 2004 to 2008.

Claims also included legal fees and 2,275 stamp duty.

Mr Robertson became leader of the SNP at Westminster after Alex Salmond became First Minister of Scotland.

He told the newspaper the costs were one-off set-up accommodation costs for a small flat.

"They include essentials such as a bed, bedding, kitchen equipment and a TV," he said.

"All claims relate to my parliamentary work on behalf of my constituents.

"As a support of transparency I welcome the belated publication of information and hope for a speedy reform to the whole expenses system in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

"Westminster should follow the Scottish Parliament and regularly publish details."