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Why did the tax-payer foot the hotel bill used by cheating MP?

SerenaCowdy/Twitter
  • Angus MacNeil claimed expenses for four-star hotel in London.
  • The hotel room was allegedly used by the SNP MP for trysts with lover Serena Cowdy.

One of the two SNP MPs involved in the recent news of a Westminster “love triangle” charged the tax-payer thousands of pounds for accommodation in a four-star London hotel. Senior Scottish National Party figure Angus MacNeil, 45, claimed expenses (on more than on occasion) for a room in the Park Plaza hotel in Westminster, where his 36-year-old lover Serena Cowdy claims they spent multiple nights together.

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Serena Cowdy

Cowdy has now moved on to another SNP MP – 53-year-old Stewart Hosie. Both have since separated from their wives. In addition to charging the tax-payer for the hotel room, Mr. MacNeil also receives over £10,000 ($14,000) from letting his flat in central London. A source for the Daily Mail claimed “Serena has boasted that Angus used to take her for the night to the Park Plaza. They had several assignations there.

“I very much doubt he mentioned his girlfriend on his expenses claims. More recently I think she’s been staying at Stewart’s flat, which is nice for him after the taxpayer foots the rent bill.”

It’s been reported that the two MPs ‘clashed’ over their rivalry for the Oxford-educated blonde writer’s affections and both have refused to comment. Due to changes in rules following the Westminster expenses scandal in 2009, MacNeil now chooses to stay in hotels and has billed the public nearly £75,000 for accommodation since 2010 – including £2,500 at the hotel used during the affair which occurred in the months leading up to the Scottish Independence Referendum.

Serena Cowdy
Serena Cowdy

MPs do not have to disclose to authorities whether or not they share a room with anyone, but when choosing to stay at the Hilton and Park Plaza, and then removing the name from expenses forms, it can only lead to mistrust with his constituency.

A senior Labour source said “There are serious questions to answer here about any potential misuse of taxpayer funds. The SNP told us they would be stronger for Scotland in the House of Commons, but it turns out they have simply been an embarrassment to Scotland.”

Mr. MacNeil claims the reason his marriage ended happened for “very different reasons to what was suggested in … newspaper stories,” and that he had “never had so much as a cross word” with Stewart Hosie.

A spokesman for the SNP added “Angus MacNeil’s accommodation has nothing to do with it. To suggest any financial impropriety is totally wrong,” however, the former chairman of the committee overseeing the standards of MPs in public life claimed constituents would be “deeply shocked if they knew what public money was being used for. It is quite inappropriate if someone owns a flat in London, they should not be boosting their income by renting it out while charging hotel bills to taxpayers.”

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