A Labour peer who claimed £250,000 in parliamentary expenses on a flat she visited only occasionally was spared punishment after quietly repaying £5,000.
Baroness Goudie, a friend of Gordon and Sarah Brown, admitted that she did not spend the majority of her time at the £200,000 flat in Glasgow, despite designating it as her main home for the purposes of her House of Lords allowances.
This enabled her to claim overnight expenses on the £1.5 million mews house in Belgravia, central London, she shared with her barrister husband, James.
Lady Goudie, who grew up in the capital and raised a family there, also admitted that she usually spent parliamentary recesses at a holiday home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Following a year-long investigation, the Clerk of the Parliaments, Michael Pownall, said he had “doubts” about the designation of the flat as a main residence. But no further action was taken after Lady Goudie apologised in writing.
She also repaid £5,130.50 voluntarily which she had claimed for a three-month period when she had not visited the Glasgow flat at all because of ill-health.
In total, Lady Goudie claimed about £168,000 in overnight expenses and £82,000 for travel to and from the property over a nine-year period.
Three months ago, she sold the flat for a profit of £50,000, and now designates her London address as her main home.