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Alex Salmond is slammed for accepting £30,000 grant

By Catriona Webster

Alex Salmond has defended accepting a resettlement grant of almost £30,000 after standing down as an MSP.

The former first minister has been criticised for taking the cash despite continuing as an MP and earning tens of thousands of pounds from media work, including £15,000 from the first six months of his LBC radio phone-in programme.

A spokesman for Mr Salmond said he had donated more money to charity than any other Scottish politician.

The SNP's foreign affairs spokesman at Westminster stood down from his Aberdeenshire East seat before May's Holyrood election. Former MSPs are paid a resettlement grant equivalent to a percentage of their annual salary at the end of their service, depending on the number of years served.

The grant is designed to "assist with the cost of adjusting to non-parliamentary life" and recipients can choose to return the money.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser described Mr Salmond's acceptance of the payment as "utterly shameless".

He said: "Resettlement grants were never intended for those who hold elected office elsewhere which is already well-rewarded.

"Nicola Sturgeon should really pull her former boss back into line and tell him to stop lining his pockets with taxpayers' money."

Belfast Telegraph


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