Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives at the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, today. Harper is in Peru on an one-day official visit. — Photo by The Associated Press
LIMA, Peru — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he did not know about — nor was he asked to sign off on — the arrangement that saw his chief of staff, Nigel Wright, cut a personal cheque for $90,000 to Sen. Mike Duffy.
Harper also says he would not have allowed Wright, who has since resigned, to give the money to Duffy had he known about it.
It’s the first time Harper himself has directly answered questions about the Senate expenses scandal since news of the payment surfaced last week.
The payment allowed Duffy to stop co-operating with an external audit of his expenses — an audit that has since been referred back to a Senate committee for review.
Wright resigned Sunday, and Duffy quit the Conservative caucus last Thursday, after the details of their transaction began to emerge.
The arrangement between the two is also under investigation by the federal ethics commissioner.