02/13/2012 12:39 EST | Updated 04/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Gilles Duceppe: Ex-Bloc Boss Makes Return Visit To Commons Over Use Of Parliamentary Funds


OTTAWA - Gilles Duceppe says he did nothing wrong in using House of Commons money to pay the salary of a Bloc Quebecois partisan executive.

Duceppe returned to the Commons today for the first time since an electoral drubbing last spring and faced awkward questions about his use of parliamentary funds.

The former Bloc leader told reporters the salary payment was made within the context of House of Commons regulations.

"My decision was based on the rules of the House," he said.

Earlier in the day, Duceppe was questioned behind closed doors by the Commons' secretive governing body, the Board of Internal Economy.

Duceppe says he won't comment further until after the board has rendered its verdict.

The former leader stepped down after the Bloc was almost wiped out in the federal election in May. He lost his own seat after seven consecutive victories.

Duceppe's defeat was not his only political setback this year. He also appeared to be gearing up for a run at the provincial level as leader of the Parti Quebecois, when the news broke of his payments to the party executive.

Duceppe then said he was getting out of politics.

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