1. ITV Report

Conservatives call for investigation into SNP MPs over expenses scandal amid allegations of affairs

Angus MacNeil (L) and Stewart Hosie (R) face calls for an investigation over their accommodation expenses. Credit: PA

The Scottish Conservative Party has called for two SNP MPs to be investigated over their accommodation expenses amid allegations of affairs.

Scottish Conservative Deputy Leader Jackson Carlaw wrote to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Hudson claiming Angus MacNeil and SNP Deputy Leader Stewart Hosie may have "fallen short" of the MPs' rules of conduct.

Both SNP members are alleged to have had affairs with Westminster journalist Serena Cowdy.

The Daily Mail alleged that Ms Cowdy was a frequent guest of Mr MacNeil's at the Park Plaza in Waterloo.

Mr MacNeil chooses to stay in hotels while working in Westminster and rents out the flat he owns in London. He claims the cost of the hotels back in parliamentary expenses.

Under Westminster rules, MPs do not have to disclose details of any guests to authorities.

However, Mr MacNeil was previously forced to pay back almost £900 in hotel expenses after exceeding the nightly rate set out under Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) rules.

An SNP spokeswoman said: "Angus MacNeil's accommodation has nothing to do with it. To suggest any financial impropriety is totally wrong."

Separately, Mr Hosie reportedly had his credit card blocked by parliamentary authorities during the period he was believed to have been seeing Ms Cowdy.

He and his wife, Scotland's Health Secretary Shona Robison, announced on Sunday that they are separating.

The SNP says there is no financial impropriety - but at the same time it is widely reported that Angus MacNeil stayed with Ms Cowdy at a hotel in London and put the bill on expenses. The best course of action is for the UK Parliament's standards commissioner to look into the matter, which is why we are writing to the commissioner this morning calling for an investigation.

– Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Conservative deputy leader

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon refused to comment on the issue, saying it is a "private matter".