LIBERAL Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has been carpeted by the election watchdog after he told the world he was innocent of breaking election spending rules.

The Edinburgh politician is the subject of a probe by the Electoral Commission in a row over undelivered election leaflets. Cole-Hamilton had been accused of breaching strict limits on spending at the last Holyrood election.

READ MORE: Police drop investigation into Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson's election expenses

However, the party argued that thousands of Cole-Hamilton election leaflets had not been delivered, and so their cost should not count towards the total spent.

In a letter to the LibDems, which Cole-Hamilton shared with press, the Electoral Commission confirmed there had been no breach of the rules over the leaflets.

It stated: “We queried the apportionments in respect of a number of leaflets that had been distributed in the constituency.

“In view of the responses to this aspect of the investigation, we are satisfied there were no breaches in respect of the apportionments.”

Cole-Hamilton said: “I learned this morning that the Electoral Commission have concluded an investigation into my 2016 election spending and found no irregularities with my return.

“Members of West Edinburgh SNP had made an allegation to them immediately after a 15-month police investigation (which the SNP also initiated) determined I had no case to answer. All told, the SNP have seen me subjected to two taxpayer-funded investigations spanning a total of 27 months.”

A spokeswoman for the commission said, however, that a wider investigation over costs attributed to the party Scotland-wide and to Cole-Hamilton’s constituency campaign, was still ongoing.

“In line with our regulatory responsibilities, the investigation we opened was into the Liberal Democrat Party’s spending return from the 2016 Scottish Parliament election and this investigation has yet to conclude,” she said.

“Mr Cole-Hamilton has taken the unusual step of sharing extracts from a letter which the commission sent to the Liberal Democrats.

“Our investigation is ongoing.

We will publish the outcome when it is concluded but until then we have no further comment to make on what is a live matter.”

Last October, the Crown Office said it had dropped legal action against Cole-Hamilton after a “full and careful” look at the case.

And last month, police scrapped an inquiry into LibDem deputy leader Jo Swinson’s election expenses.