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Duffy welcomes ‘full and open inquiry’ of Senate expenses

Senator Mike Duffy arrives on Parliament Hill on May 23, 2013.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

In his first comments since resigning from the Tory caucus, a defiant Senator Mike Duffy said Thursday he wants a "full and open inquiry" into his expenses – one the public can see unfold.

The beleagured PEI politician remained upbeat even while he's under fire for improperly claimed expenses, smiling and insisting he'd be cleared.

Mr. Duffy scoffed at the notion of quitting his Senate job in his first public comments since revelations that Stephen Harper's chief of staff made a secret arrangement to personally reimburse taxpayers for the PEI politician's improperly claimed expenses.

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"I think Canadians have a right to know all the facts and I'm quite prepared ... to give them the whole story."

He spoke to journalists Thursday as he left the Senate and strolled to a car on Parliament Hill.

At one point Mr. Duffy appeared to have something to say about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's insistence that he knew nothing of the secret deal for chief of staff Nigel Wright.

" I would find …" the senator began to say, before stopping himself and saying "I just don't know."

Asked what he meant by an inquiry, Mr. Duffy said he expected "some kind of airing of all this."

He said the hearings must be public. "It has to be done in public – no question."

Pressed for more details, he said "Hold your horses; it will all come out in due course."

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Asked if he thought he had done anything wrong, the senator read from a prepared statement he'd first released Wednesday that said he believes it will eventually concluding his actions regarding expenses "do not merit criticism."

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