Some senior Conservatives are seething with anger over the powerful and unelected Conservative Fund’s refusal to share details with the national council of Andrew Scheer’s $700,000-over-budget office expenses last year, saying the lack of transparency is resulting in gossip affecting the leader’s credibility and the party’s ability to raise funds.

“This is a strange situation,” said one Conservative MP of the Conservative Fund’s response to the national council’s request. “Something doesn’t add up here, and it appears someone is trying to protect someone. This is not good for the party.”

At issue are $925,000 in expenses that the OLO filed to the Conservative Party last year. The party had set an expense budget of $200,000 for Mr. Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle, Sask.) for the first 10 months of the year, but the claimed expenses turned out to be $925,000, leaving the party’s national councillors wondering why they were almost five times over budget. The 20-member governing body of the Conservative Party, who are elected by the Conservative Party members, learned about it at their in-person December meeting in Ottawa, after the Conservative Fund provided an income statement to the national council.