Salmond in clear over lotto biscuits

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FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has been cleared of any wrongdoing over his tea and biscuits in Bute House with SNP-supporting lottery winners who later gave £1 million to the party.

Labour claimed the hospitality for multi-millionaires Colin and Chris Weir at the First Minister’s official residence breached strict rules against using taxpayer-funded facilities for party political purposes.

But an independent report by anti-sleaze watchdog and former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini said Mr Salmond had provided the tea and biscuits from his own resources stored in his apartment at Bute House.

She said: “Paragraph 7.2 (of the ministerial code) gives explicit permission to host personal or party events at Bute House, provided such events are not resourced from the public purse.

“The nature and substance of any discussions which took place are not relevant to the code.”

The tea party took place last September, just days before the couple gave the SNP £1 million, the biggest donation the party has ever had.