Moray’s MP one of SNP members to fall foul of watchdog rules

Angus Robertson - credit card suspended
Angus Robertson – credit card suspended

MORAY’S MP AND leader of the SNP at Westminster, Angus Robertson, was one of five SNP members of the House of Commons who had his credit card blocked for running up expenses debts.

As well as Mr Robertson his deputy at Westminster, Stewart Hosie, was among a dozen members who were subjected to action from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

Mr Robertson’s card was suspended by IPSA in December when it was found that he owed £1165 – an amount that has since been paid in full. The credit cards are provided to MP’s so that they can immediately cover items such as travel and accommodation.

However, they are required to account for any spending within a month – with failure to do so resulting in their cards being suspended.

An SNP spokesman said it is common for MPs to owe outstanding amounts to the parliamentary watchdog: “By its very nature the operation of the expenses system means that IPSA often owes outstanding amounts to MPs – and MPs often owe outstanding amounts to IPSA.

“Outstanding amounts are then repaid – temporary credit card suspensions have already been lifted.”

As well as Mr Robertson and Mr Hosie, Natalie McGarry, who is currently suspended from the SNP as allegations relating to missing donations are investigated, had her card blocked in January over a £2370 outstanding bill – her office blamed a “mix-up” with the situation now having been rectified.

The IPSA system was challenged by one SNP MP, Pete Wishart, who said that the requirement to provide evidence of spending within a month was “burdensome”.