SNP demands apology from Labour over expenses error

Alex Salmond has demanded an apology from Labour after the parliamentary expenses watchdog admitted it had published incorrect figures that showed SNP MPs filed much higher travel expenses than their predecessors.

Alex Salmond has demanded an apology from Labour. Picture: John Devlin

Labour called for an audit of the Nationalists’ expenses, but the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has apologised to SNP MPs after correcting the error.

Mr Salmond said: “We now have official confirmation from IPSA that SNP MPs do indeed cost less than their Labour and Lib Dem predecessors – over £1 million less.

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“Parliamentary records are also clear that SNP MPs are working much harder too – with some MPs making more contributions in their first year than their predecessors did in the entire five years of the last parliament.

“This has been a huge embarrassment for the Labour Party in particular, who had seized on bogus figures to launch an underhand attack on the SNP, only for it to spectacularly backfire now we know for certain that SNP MPs cost less and do a better job.”

A Labour spokesman said the figure for SNP MPs travel expenses in 2014-15 remained unchanged at £1.3 million. “And of course they didn’t even start in the job until May, so any comparison with 2014-15 is misleading,” the spokesman said.

“Some SNP MPs have racked up travel expenses of over £40,000, considerably higher than their predecessors even using IPSA’s amended data. There has been complete silence from the Nationalists about why their costs are so high. Taxpayers need an urgent answer from the SNP about this use of public funds.”