Press Release by Aamer Anwar, Solicitors & Notaries- 26th March 2014
Joan McAlpine MSP- CLEARED OF ANY WRONG DOING IN EXPENSES PROBE
Statement issued on behalf of Joan McAlpine MSP- by solicitor Aamer Anwar
“The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) has confirmed this afternoon that there was no breach of the expenses rules or code of conduct by Joan McAlpine MSP and that the matter is now closed. We can also confirm that Joan McAlpine is not being investigated by the Public Standards Commissioner or by Police Scotland – as was wrongly reported in the Daily Mail.
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone confirmed today that ‘Police Scotland are not investigating any criminal allegation.’ (see attached letter from Police Scotland)
The careful and robust investigation by the SPCB, representing all the main parties at Holyrood, was brought about by Ms McAlpine referring herself to it following media reports on the 26th and 27th February 2014.
The Parliamentary inquiry has found that it was permissible for Joan to hire a professional photographer to produce work for constituency publications. A substantial amount of work was produced, contrary to the allegations reported in the Daily Mail. There was considerable evidence to prove this – all of which was submitted to the SBCB. Ms McAlpine also submitted evidence proving that Portrack Photograph undertook a wide variety of work including portraits – again exposing the claims reported in the Daily Mail as wrong.
When the photographer withdrew consent to use of photographs and the contract could not be completed, Ms McAlpine refunded the expenses to Parliament out of her own pocket and at her own instigation. There was no cost to the public purse.
Quite rightly the public places a great emphasis on our MSPs telling the truth and making sure public money is used wisely, which is exactly what Joan McAlpine has done. After the Leveson inquiry, it is equally incumbent on the press to abide by high standards of probity.
Joan believes it is a great responsibility and a privilege to represent the people of the South of Scotland, and that is the job she is continuing to get on with doing.”
PLEASE NOTE JOAN McALPINE WILL NOT BE COMMENTING FURTHER ON THE MATTER