Three Labour MPs caught in rent row

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Indy Politics

The Labour Party ordered all its Scottish MPs to check their accounts yesterday after three members were discovered to be overclaiming office expenses.

All 56 Labour MPs in Scotland are being told to ensure they are not breaking Parliamentary rules in similar ways to Jim Murphy, Russell Brown and Anne McGuire, who are facing calls to resign.

The Scottish National Party said Mr Murphy, Mr Brown and Ms McGuire should follow the example of former Scottish First Minister, Henry McLeish, who resigned after it emerged he had failed to declare the £4,000 annual rent he received for sub-letting his office in Fife since 1988, while still claiming all his office expenses.

The three MPs are accused of making similar arrangements and receiving expenses to which they are not entitled.

Mr Murphy admitted the Commons paid the full rent for his constituency office but he claimed half the rent from the Eastwood MSP, Ken Macintosh, who shares the office.

Mr Brown had the rent for his constituency office paid in full while receiving additional rent from Elaine Murray, who was recently appointed deputy minister for tourism, culture and sport at Holyrood. Ms McGuire charged both the Commons and the Scottish Parliament the full rent for an office she used with the Labour MSP Sylvia Jackson.

A spokesman for the Labour Party said all its Scottish MPs would be asked to "interrogate their books and see if this situation arises anywhere else".