(2009) Liberal Democrat M.P. Malcolm Bruce

A senior Liberal Democrat MP claimed for thousands of pounds towards the running of both his London flat and his constituency home, his expenses reveal.

Malcolm Bruce, the president of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, was able to make the claims because his wife Rosemary works as his office manager and diary secretary from their main home on Deeside, north-east Scotland.

Normally MPs can only claim expenses for household bills at their second homes, and must pay their own way at their main residence.

However, because Mr Bruce told the Commons fees office that his wife was working from home, he was able to claim for his household bills in Scotland under the Incidental Expenditure Provision (IEP), which is intended to cover office costs.

Between April, 2006, and March, 2008, he was paid a total of nearly £3,100 towards the cost of electricity, heating and cleaning at his main home in the village of Torphins, just outside his constituency of Gordon. From 2005 to 2008, he received a total of £61,186 from the additional costs allowance (ACA) for his second home in London.

The Torphins claim was made despite Mr Bruce having a constituency office in Inverurie, about a 30-minute drive away, also funded by the taxpayer. The ACA claim included regular monthly spending of more than £300 on food, close to the maximum of £400. In one month, August, 2005, he successfully claimed £451 for food.

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