Lord Swaraj Paul repays 38,000-pound 'admission-of-guilt' expenses

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London, Mar. 14 (ANI): In order to clear his name from a House of Lords investigation into an MPs expenses scam, Indian-born Lord Swaraj Paul has voluntarily repaid the controversial amount of 38,000 pounds that was at the centre of the probe.

While Lord Paul was told by Scotland Yard that he won't face charges over his expenses claims, he is facing a House of Lords investigation into his conduct by a subcommittee chaired by Baroness Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5.

Lord Paul - who is one of the country's richest men and worth an estimated 500 million pounds has quietly and voluntarily repaid the 38,000 pounds.

However, opposition MPs seized on the move as an admission that the expenses were not justified, The Telegraph reports.

Graham Stuart, the Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness, said: "Lord Paul has been shamed into returning the money he should never have claimed in the first place."

However, his supporters deny any admission of guilt and say the money was repaid in the hope of drawing a line under the affair.

The steel tycoon has donated more than 400,000 pounds to the Labour party through his company.

He also gave 45,000 pounds to Gordon Brown's leadership campaign, as well as buying 6,000 copies of the Prime Minister's book Courage to distribute to secondary schools.

Brown has publicly referred to the peer as "a great friend" and "a great businessman".

Earlier, Lord Paul admitted that he never spent a single night at an Oxfordshire flat that he registered as his main home while claiming money in overnight expenses for a London property.

"It's true I never slept there. But it was available. I submitted the claim and I gave the flat as my address, because I have it as a place to stay. The question is, what are the rules? I know that I have followed the rules," he said. (ANI)

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