IAN Murray, Labour’s longest-serving Scottish MP, has made thousands as an Airbnb landlord, The National can reveal.

The shadow Scottish secretary has made at least £10,000 since he began renting out his Bruntsfield flat in Edinburgh in 2019, his register of interests shows.

Between his election to Parliament in 2010 and the present day, Murray has billed the taxpayer £230,954.46 for his Westminster digs through expenses.

That figure includes rent until the 2021-22 financial year as well as utilities and council tax throughout.

His Airbnb flat is marketed as “bright and very spacious”. It is “situated in the centre of the vibrant and safe district of Bruntsfield”, which is in his Edinburgh South constituency.

The National: Airbnb

The description also adds: “Please remember that this is a private apartment, not a hotel. The flat is my home which I rent out when I am away. There are some of my personal belongings in the flat so please be respectful of the space.”

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Murray splits his time between Edinburgh at the weekends and London during the weeks Parliament is sitting, The National understands.

He twice held the fort for Labour during wilderness periods after the 2015 and 2019 elections as the party’s sole MP north of the Border.

He was joined by Michael Shanks following the Rutherglen by-election last year.

Murray has bemoaned Airbnb’s contribution to Edinburgh’s housing crisis in the past, telling The Student, Edinburgh University’s student newspaper, the firm had “changed” the city’s housing market.

But in the same interview he said that the solution was to build more houses.

The National: Living Rent members protesting in Edinburgh. Credit: Jane Barlow/PA 

Eilidh Keay, chair of the Edinburgh branch of the Living Rent tenants’ union, told The National: “His main concern appears to be maximising his own income.”

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: "Many Scottish MPs claim accommodation allowances of up to £25,000 per year, Ian claims a fifth of that and ultimately saves the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds in the process. 

“The property in question is his own family home, which he has lived in since 2011. 

“Like every MP, Ian splits his working week between London and his constituency. Unlike many MPs, he claims no taxpayer support for rent to do so. 

“When he is working in London on behalf of the people of Edinburgh South, he stays in his wife’s home that she had before they met, which has saved the taxpayer around tens of thousands of pounds per year in expenses in recent years.”

A former businessman, Murray is seen as being on the right of the Labour Party.

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He was described by former shadow chancellor John McDonnell as being part of a “narrow right wing clique” during an internal spat in 2016.

Murray quit Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet after the Brexit referendum and came within inches of defecting to the Independent Group, which became Change UK. All members who stood in the 2019 election lost their seats.  

A spokesperson for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) said: “IPSA supports MPs with accommodation funding because of their unique position of needing to work from two locations in order to effectively represent their constituents in Westminster.

“MPs are only able to claim for accommodation costs in one of those two locations (London or constituency).”

Airbnb did not respond to a request for comment.