Canada expenses: PM Harper's aide Nigel Wright quits

Nigel Wright. File photo Nigel Wright said he had not informed the prime minister about the cheque at the time

Related Stories

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's top aide has resigned over his role in a growing expenses scandal.

Nigel Wright quit after revelations he had given a senator 90,000 Canadian dollars (£58,000; $87,000) to repay improperly claimed housing expenses.

The conservative prime minister said he had accepted the resignation of his chief of staff "with great regret".

Mr Wright is now expected to be replaced by Ray Novak, media reports in Canada say.

Sen Mike Duffy, a former journalist, resigned from the Conservative caucus on Thursday two days after revelations about the cheque emerged.

Nigel Wright is a managing director of a major Canadian private equity firm who has been on secondment to the prime minister's office since 2011.

Opposition lawmakers say his cheque broke ethics rules barring senators from taking presents.

On Sunday, Mr Wright said in a statement that he had decided to step down "in light of the controversy surrounding my handling of matters involving Senator Duffy".

He stressed that he had not informed the prime minister about the cheque.

The federal ethics commissioner is now examining the matter.

On Friday, Senator Pamela Wallin also resigned from the Conservative caucus over an audit into her travel expenses.

She is among four senators whose expenses have been under scrutiny since December of last year.

The Senate's internal economy committee demanded hefty sums be repaid by Sen Duffy, Liberal Senator Mac Harb and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, who is on a leave of absence over a separate matter - a criminal complaint of assault and sexual assault.

Canadian senators are appointed on the advice of the prime minister and may serve in the Senate until age 75.

The prime minister thanked his chief of staff for his work since 2011, accepting that he believed he had acted in the public interest.

Ray Novak, who is reportedly replacing Nigel Wright, has acted as Mr Harper's principal secretary for several years.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • Lotus 97T driven by Elio de AngelisBeen and Gone

    A champion F1 designer and other notable losses

  • A poster of Boris Nemtsov at a rally in St Petersburg, Russia, 1 MarchWho killed Nemtsov?

    Theories abound over murder that shocked Moscow

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.