May 19, 2013

By Bob Sheppard

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The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff has resigned in light of the controversy around his handling of expense payments involving Senator Mike Duffy.

In a statement issued Sunday morning, Nigel Wright says Stephen Harper has accepted his resignation.

The Prime Minister’s Office said earlier this week that Wright personally paid off $90,000 in inappropriately claimed housing expenses for Duffy, who later stepped down from Conservative caucus.

Wright says his actions were intended “solely to secure the repayment of funds,” which he considered to be in the public interest.

He says he did not tell Harper how Duffy’s expenses were repaid, either before or after the fact.

Wright says he regrets the impact the matter has had on the government, the Tory caucus and all his colleagues.

In a separate statement Harper said he accepted Wright’s resignation with “great regret.”

Harper says he accepts that Wright believed he was acting in the public interest but understands his decision to resign.

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