Former Wren to ex-minister: You Sir are a disgrace
Former Royal navy engineer Fiona Laing embarrasses Sir Nick Harvey after Remembrance Day service
A Royal British Legion worker approached a former Armed Forces minister following a Remembrance Day service and 'reimbursed' him for £7.20 in expenses he claimed after attending a previous ceremony.
Fiona Laing, 45, marched up to Sir Nick Harvey, 52, in front of other dignitaries, officials and members of the public, and gave him an envelope containing the money.
Fiona Laing's card containing £7.20 (ARCHANT)
In a card she wrote:"To Sir Nick Harvey, I have taken the liberty of enclosing £7.20 to cover your expenses in attending this parade to show your supposed support for Armed Forces past and present.
"As a veteran I am disgusted at your claim.
"You Sir are a disgrace.
"A Former Wren."
The mother-of-three acted after the Liberal Democrat MP for North Devon caused anger by claiming £7.20 expenses to attend Armistice Day ceremonies in 2011.
Ms Laing, of Barnstaple, Devon, handed the MP the cash sealed in a Royal British Legion card.
Fiona Laing marched up to Sir Nick Harvey (ARCHANT)
The ex-Royal Navy aircraft mechanic said it was "an insult to those who had died" that Sir Nick had claimed the petrol money to attend.
She said he should have "attended out of moral duty, not financial".
Ms Laing waited until the end of the parade before approaching Sir Nick and telling him she found it distasteful that he had filed the claim to cover his petrol.
She posted a video of the incident on her Facebook page, which has already been widely shared.
Ms Laing, events co-ordinator for the Royal British Legion in Barnstaple, said: "I never expected it would go viral like this - and I've had so many messages of support since doing it.
"I know the expenses claim was in November 2011, but this is the first time I have had a chance to confront him about it and I felt it should be done."
Sir Nick, who can be seen taking the envelope in the film, said he wished to return it to Ms Laing for her to donate to a charity of her choice.
Fiona made history as the first female driver to take part in Rally for Heroes in August 2012 (ARCHANT)
The MP said: "Two years ago my monthly travel claim for November inadvertently included the mileage cost for attending the Act of Remembrance.
"Had I spotted that individual item I would not have claimed for it, even though it was permissible within the rules.
"Unfortunately I did not notice it: we are all capable of human error and regrettably this was one on my part.
"When the matter was subsequently drawn to my attention I apologised immediately and paid the sum in question (and rather more) to a veterans' charity collection.
"I certainly had not intended the slightest disrespect to our service personnel and veterans.
"The matter was extensively aired in the media some 18 months ago. As far as I am concerned, once I realised what had happened I acknowledged my mistake, apologised and made reparation.
"If Ms Laing supplies me with a postal address I would like to return the £7 to her to donate to a veterans' charity as she sees fit."
It emerged that the MP had claimed Remembrance Day expenses in May 2012.