Expenses row rages on: Taxi for McLetchie!

David McLetchie’s personal assistant has been dragged into the row over her boss’s travel expenses after the Scottish Parliament refused to provide full details of her own travel expense claims in response to a freedom of information request made by the Sunday Herald.

Ann Menzies, who works for the leader of the Scottish Conservatives at Holyrood, was identified on 68 taxi invoices for trips in Edinburgh. She accepted responsibility for 17 of the journeys but disputed another 51. Holyrood officials have censored the destinations of the journeys, which totalled around £350, on the grounds that disclosing them would jeopardise her safety.

McLetchie is still being investigated over whether he had used parliamentary taxis to travel to his second job at Edinburgh law firm Tods Murray, where Menzies also worked for him as a personal assistant. Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion, who was asked to investigate the missing details, is set to rule within weeks on the decision to keep secret the details of McLetchie’s journeys.

The Parliament took over 60 working days to disclose limited details of Menzies’s claims, breaching the 20-day deadline set down by MSPs when the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act came into force on January 1.

McLetchie’s PA in new taxi row (Sunday Herald, 21 August, 2005)