AN aristocrat Tory MSP has been slated after claiming expenses for a hotel he had to book at the last minute because he lost his keys.

Edward Mountain – whose full name is Sir Edward Brian Stanford Mountain, 4th Baronet of Oare Manor and Brendon in Somerset - charged the taxpayer £129 in March last year after staying at the Holyrood Hotel because he had misplaced the keys to his Edinburgh flat.

According to his register of interests, he owns 13 houses and cottages in Moray, many of which he rents out for at least £10,000 a year.

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He also owns 500 acres of farmland with a market value of between £3,200,001 and £3,300,000, a croft worth up to £100,000, and a dog kennels worth up to £50,000.

Moray SNP councillor Jeremie Fernandes pointed out the expense on Twitter/X and said actions like Mountain’s make politicians look “corrupt” and questioned how it was a legitimate expense.

He said: “If I lost the keys to my flat and had to spend the night in a hotel, I would think ‘Tough, it’s my bad , I’ll just pay for a hotel. I’ll be more careful next time’.

“Not Edward Mountain (worth £5m) who charged the taxpayer £129.00 for his hotel when it happened to him.

“This is not about party politics, it’s about the fact that this make politicians look bad and people will then look at the system as corrupt, when the vast majority are dedicated public servants.

“How is this a legitimate expense?”

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Mountain also owns a 50% share of a rod and line salmon fishing in Moray, operated by Delfur Fishings, which has a total market value of between £7,500,001 and £7,600,000. The property yields a gross annual income in the range £230,001 to £240,000.

He additionally owns shares worth £55,588 in HSBC.

Mountain said: “This expense was legitimately claimed and agreed with the Parliament upon submission, who were made aware of the precise circumstances. Had they not been satisfied with it, the claim wouldn't have been paid.

“That said, I understand politicians have to be beyond reproach, especially in these times, and have paid the money back to Parliament.”