Jim Murphy ‘claimed £1.30 for Irn-Bru on expenses’

SCOTTISH Labour leader Jim Murphy has claimed for Irn-Bru on his expenses.
Jim Murphy takes a swig of Irn-Bru during his 100 Towns tour. Picture: John DevlinJim Murphy takes a swig of Irn-Bru during his 100 Towns tour. Picture: John Devlin
Jim Murphy takes a swig of Irn-Bru during his 100 Towns tour. Picture: John Devlin

The East Renfrewshire MP, who carried out a 100-town tour of Scotland campaigning for the Union in the lead-up to the referendum on Scottish independence – famously standing on two Irn-Bru crates – made two expenses claims for cans of the fizzy drink.

A Freedom of Information request was submitted last month requesting details of claims for Irn-Bru made by Mr Murphy, according to political blogger Guido Fawkes.

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Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses, members are allowed to claim for the cost of purchasing food and non-alcoholic drinks where they have stayed overnight outwith London and their constituency. This is limited to £25.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority detailed two claims made by Mr Murphy relating to Irn-Bru, both made prior to 30 April, 2014, and totalling £1.30.

MPs may also claim reimbursement for the costs of an evening meal, when they are required to be at the House of Commons because it is sitting beyond 7:30pm. This is limited to £15 for each night.

The “100 Towns in 100 Days” tour was carried out by Mr Murphy in the lead-up to the referendum last September.

During the tour, the former shadow defence secretary was hit with eggs while speaking in Kirkcaldy – he claimed the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign was “orchestrating a campaign of intimidation” by encouraging protesters to disrupt his tour.

An SNP spokesman said of his expenses claims: “Labour’s bottle has crashed and this is a further embarrassment for Jim Murphy. Unlike Scotland’s favourite national soft drink, he is neither ‘original’ nor ‘best’.”

On Twitter, Nationalist politicians also mocked the Scottish Labour leader, with Europe minister Humza Yousaf posting a picture of himself drinking Irn-Bru with the caption, “Pleased to say I always buy my own Bru”.

A Scottish Labour Party spokesman said: “As most people know, Mr Murphy drinks bucket loads of Irn-Bru. Over the years, it’s thought that he has single-handedly kept the House of Commons Irn-Bru supplier in business.”