SNP love cheat Stewart Hosie to quit as deputy leader
SEX scandal MP Stewart Hosie is to quit as SNP deputy leader following an affair with a younger woman and questions over his use of public funds.
Mr Hosie, caught in a love triangle with Commons colleague Angus MacNeil who also had a fling with the same journalist, said that he will not seek re-election for the job.
Both men face sleaze probes and the move puts pressure on Mr MacNeil to step aside as head of a prestigious Westminster committee.
In a letter to leader Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Hosie apologised for “any hurt and upset” caused by revelations of his relationship with blonde Serena Cowdy.
The love cheat, who had a mini-stroke in 2012, said he had been admitted to hospital three times with extremely high blood pressure.
The announcement that he will step down at the SNP’s autumn conference came amid a string of Sunday newspaper briefings by colleagues claiming he was “toast”.
Ms Sturgeon due to visit the Nationalist group at Westminster on Monday was also said to be “rightly furious” at the scandal.
The Dundee East MP revealed he was separating from his wife of 20 years, Holyrood Health Secretary Shona Robison, last Sunday.
She is one of Ms Sturgeon’s best friends and the First Minister last week repeatedly refused to say she has confidence in him.
In a letter to Nicola Sturgeonthe shamed MP apologised for ‘any hurt and upset’ caused
In his letter, Mr Hosie wrote: “I am writing to you firstly to apologise for any hurt and upset I have caused to friends, family and colleagues. That was never my intention.
The stress of the intense scrutiny of my private life has been very difficult
“I am also writing to tell you of my intention not to seek re-election as deputy leader of the SNP at this year’s annual conference, giving ample time for the Party to choose a successor.
“As you know I have been admitted to hospital on three occasions in the past few years with very high blood pressure.
“In that regard, the stress of the intense scrutiny of my private life has been very difficult.
“I intend to concentrate on my constituents, my responsibilities at Westminster, and most importantly, my health.”
Mr Hosie won his role as deputy leader in 2014 – seeing off senior MSPs and now Cabinet Secretaries Angela Constance and Keith Brown.
Hosie has been caught in a love triange with Commons colleague angus MacNeil and Serena Cowdy
Yesterday sources said his touted summer role boosting support for independence also appeared over.
In her reply to Mr Hosie, the First Minister said she had enjoyed working with him and wished him well for the future.
She also thanked him for the letter and his authorship of two “successful“ manifestos at last year’s Westminster and this month’s Holyrood election.
She added: “These are achievements you should be very proud of.
“As you step down as deputy leader, I know you will continue to make a valuable contribution to the party in many ways and, in particular, through your work in your constituency and as part of the Westminster group.”
The deputy SNP leader had an affair with journalist Serena Cowdy
Mr Hosie and Mr MacNeil, who split from his wife last year, have been reported to two separate Westminster watchdogs to determine if they misused expenses to fund their trysts with Ms Cowdy, 36.
Both the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Hudson are yet to decide on any formal investigations.
Mr MacNeil has been criticised for billing taxpayers for stays at a four-star hotel in London, where he would meet the writer.
This is despite owning a two-bedroom flat in the capital that he rents out for £10,000 a year.
Mr Hosie charges taxpayers for a flat he is believed to have met with Cowdy, but made a £60,000 profit on the sale of another expenses-funded property.
The SNP has dismissed suggestions of financial impropriety as “totally wrong”.
Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said Mr Hosie had made “the right decision to resign”.
He added: “Last year the SNP told us their MPs would be stronger for Scotland, but just twelve months on many have been a source of real embarrassment.
“This incident hasn’t just seen them let down their party, but they are letting down the people of Scotland who voted for them and expect much better behaviour.”
Scottish Tory chief whip John Lamont said Mr Hosie’s departure was “inevitable given the circumstances”.
“In the meantime, questions still remain to be answered about the way public money has been spent, both by Mr Hosie and Angus MacNeil,” he said.
Western Isles MP Mr MacNeil, 45, is currently chairman of the Commons energy select committee.
But a Labour source said he “must now ask himself whether he can continue in his highly paid position”.
“He has brought his party and parliament into disrepute,” the source added.
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NICOLA Sturgeon has failed to back her party deputy Stewart Hosie who has become embroiled in a sex scandal that has seen him separate from his wife.
The First Minster was asked three times whether she had confidence in Mr Hosie following revelations about an affair with a former actress but replied only that it was a “private matter”. Read in full HERE
An MP claimed £16,665 in hotel expenses during a fling with a writer, it is alleged.
Former actress Serena Cowdy, 36, is said to have had a fling with married Angus MacNeil , 45, and his 53-year-old colleague Stewart Hosie – who she is now in a relationship with.
And it is alleged she romped with Mr MacNeil while he claimed £16,665 on hotel room expenses – a bill picked up by the taxpayer.
The journalist at the centre of the alleged love triangle has described SNP MPs as romantic revolutionaries, a source revealed.
Freelance political journalist Serena told in her blog how she stalked Westminster’s corridors and came across MPs “who are actually doing quite a lot of good”.
She added: “Sure, there are some idiots and scoundrels. Just like there are in the population at large.”
She allegedly had a fling last year with Commons Environment Committee chairman Mr MacNeil and the source claimed one of her favourite spots was the Plaza hotel in Waterloo, South London. Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority records reveal that of the £16,665 he claimed on expenses, around £3,000 was for visits there.
The source added: “Since starting work in Parliament, Serena has this thing about the SNP being like the Mujahideen. She was having an affair with Angus MacNeil during the Scottish independence referendum campaign and boasted that when he was on TV talking about it, she’s texted him and he’d looked at his phone.
“He used to take her to the Park Plaza hotel in Waterloo for the night. Now she’s with Stewart Hosie and has been for some time and it’s very serious.”
Mr Hosie announced on Sunday he was splitting from wife Shona Robison, 45, SNP Cabinet Secretary for Health,
Wellbeing and Sport. The source added: “I heard things had been difficult between Stewart and Angus because they’d both had the same girlfriend and that there have been cross words between them.
“Surely MPs are paid to represent their constituents not gallivant around London having affairs with the same woman?”
The SNP last night refused to confirm or deny if Serena had been in hotel rooms billed to the public with Mr MacNeil. A party spokeswoman said: “His stays in hotels for his duties as an MP are a matter of public record.”
Mr MacNeil was entitled to claim cash for overnight stays while Parliament was sitting, and there is no suggestion he broke any rules.
Angus MacNeil and wife Jane MacNeil
However, a Labour source said: “There are serious questions to answer here about any potential misuse of taxpayer funds.” An SNP source insisted there was no overlap between Serena’s relationships with the MPs, adding: “Stewart and Angus have been getting on together fine.” Dad-of-three Mr MacNeil, who previously worked as a BBC Scotland reporter and a teacher, has represented the Western Isles since 2005.
He announced his separation from his wife Jane last year, not long after the end of his affair with Serena.
He was previously caught with two teenage girls at a hotel room in 2007 while pregnant Jane was in hospital.
His spokeswoman said last night: “We’ve got no comment.” Mr Hosie is thought to have confessed to his wife 11 days ago about the fling. He did not respond to requests to comment. A party spokeswoman said: “Stewart and Shona have split. They have a young daughter, she will continue to be their priority.”
On her blog, Serena, who was brought up in London, told how she honed in on one chosen “target” of her affections by practically “stalking” him. She wrote: “I will utilise my acting training to the full, creating a persona with the kooky charm of Roberts, fragile vulnerability of Pfeiffer and laid back cool of Diaz.”
She has also written about how to end a relationship. Titles include The Dos and Don’ts of Dumping Etiquette”, and An Office Affair: Needs Must. A separate post around Christmas 2014 referred to romantic comedy Love Actually, saying: “Who doesn’t hope for a kiss under the mistletoe? But which politician could live up to the delectable Karl?” On her Cowdy Calling blog, Serena wrote before last year’s general election: “I’ve spent a fair bit of time stumbling about Westminster, chatting to researchers, journalists, MPs, lords, clerks and doorkeepers.
“I’ve tried to work out what it’s all about and often made a complete nuisance of myself.”
Urging people to vote, she went on: “Sometimes, you’ve just got to look at the information on offer, hope for the best and put your faith in someone.
“Yes, perhaps you’ll be disappointed. But at least you’re giving them the chance to live up to your hopes and be deserving of your trust.” SOURCE Mirror
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