Listing code of conduct breaches

The article re MSPs’ expenses (Southern, October 16) refers to “The five MSPs who represent the Borders”.

There are only two Borders MSPs, namely Christine Grahame and John Lamont. The three others mentioned by you are not Borders MSPs, but rather, along with four others, list members for the South of Scotland region.

List members who describe themselves as representing a particular part of their region are in breach of the Scottish Parliament’s code of conduct.

Jim Hume effected such a misrepresentation by describing himself as a “Scottish Liberal Democrat Borders MSP”. As a consequence, the parliament’s Presiding Officer sought an assurance from him that he would not repeat this breach.

Some MSPs endeavour to circumvent this rule by describing themselves as locally-based. For example, Paul Wheelhouse has described himself as “Ayton-based”. To my mind, this is a breach of the spirit, if not the letter, of the code of conduct.

David S. W. Williamson

Pinnaclehill Park

Kelso