Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, claimed £400 per month for food when the Commons was not even sitting.
Later, after winning power at Holyrood, his appearances at Westminster became scarce but he still claimed more than £1,700 in expenses for food in 2007/08.
The SNP leader also had a hotel bill cut by the Westminster authorities when he charged the taxpayer for drinks from a minibar.
MPs can claim a maximum of £400 per month for food, without having to produce receipts, but questions will be asked why the First Minister spent so much. Commons records show Mr Salmond claimed the maximum allowance for eight months in 2005/6, a total of £3,200.
However, included in Mr Salmond’s claim was £800 for the months of August and September 2005, when the Commons was on its summer recess. Mr Salmond voted on July 12, 2005 but was not required to take part in another division until October 12.
The SNP’s victory in the 2007 Holyrood election curtailed his appearances at Westminster, but the food claims did not stop.
In the 2007/08 financial year, which covers the period between the end of March 2007 and the start of April 2008, he voted on only six days in the Commons.