independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

PM's top aide quits over expenses

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's top aide has stepped down over an expenses scandal

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's top aide has stepped down over an expenses scandal that also forced the resignation of a politician.

Nigel Wright announced his resignation as chief of staff following revelations that he gave 90,000 dollars (£59,000) to a conservative senator to help the politician repay improper housing expenses. The senator, Mike Duffy, resigned last week.

Mr Wright said in a statement that he helped Duffy repay his expenses because he felt it was in the public interest to do so. He says he accepts sole responsibility for his actions.

Critics say the payment to Mr Duffy violated ethics rules that prohibit senators from accepting gifts.

Mr Harper said he accepted Mr Wright's resignation with "great regret". He appointed long-time adviser Ray Novak to replace him.

The prime minister is expected to address his troubled party later.

Press Association

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