A SECOND Liberal Democrat MP is facing questions over their General Election spending after an investigation by the Herald.

Christine Jardine, who gained Edinburgh West in one of the toughest contests in the country, disregarded thousands of pounds of costs on her official candidate declaration.

Her party also sent local voters personalised mail which was not accounted for in her filing.

Despite the LibDems’ saturation campaign in Edinburgh West, with households inundated with leaflets, Ms Jardine claimed she ultimately spent less than her SNP rival.

This relied on her saying a third of her bill for election material was “national” spending, on the grounds it promoted the LibDems in general, rather than her as the local candidate.

If this £3000 of expenditure had been counted toward her constituency campaign costs, the former BBC reporter would have been £1350 over the legal spending cap.

The Herald revealed yesterday that Jo Swinson, deputy leader of the UK LibDems and MP for East Dunbartonshire, is also facing questions over her campaign costs.

She too split spending down national and local lines, and declared around £2700 of leaflets, some 93,000 items, went undelivered in her party’s top Scottish target seat.

The SNP said just Ms Swinson’s decision to assign £309 of her election address costs to national spending could have put her over the limit, as such costs are always local.

It is an offence punishable by a year in prison to knowingly submit a false spending return.

A key member of Ms Jardine’s campaign was the local MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, who was also the chair of the Scottish LibDems’ election campaign.

On the eve of polling, Mr Cole-Hamilton was the subject of a police report to the procurator fiscal over alleged overspending in his 2016 campaign for Holyrood.

SNP MP Pete Wishart said voters in Edinburgh West would be “astonished” by the LibDem figures after being bombarded by the party’s mail throughout the campaign.

He said: “Clearly they’ve learnt nothing from the embarrassment of a police investigation into election expenditure last year. Again it appears they’ve shuffled around thousands in costs to keep below the spending threshold.

“There’s a very troubling pattern emerging here in relation to the Lib Dems’ treatment of strict electoral rules. The consequences could be serious indeed if they haven’t played by the book. Voters deserve to know what’s going on.”

A LibDem spokesman insisted all spending had been correctly apportioned.

The fight in Edinburgh West was one of the ugliest of the General Election.

LibDem-held since 1997, the seat was won by the SNP’s Michelle Thomson in 2015 by 3120 votes, and the LibDems made its recapture a priority, pouring in activists and resources.

The party ruthlessly exploited Ms Thomson resigning the SNP whip over an alleged financial scandal - later dropped by the Crown - to undermine the Nationalists.

As the antagonism between the sides grew, an SNP activist repeatedly attacked Ms Jardine online on the day of her husband’s funeral.

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie accused the party of being “vicious” and “very low”.

Ms Jardine went on to win by 2988 votes.

In December, the Electoral Commission imposed a maximum £20,000 fine on the UK LibDems for failing to declare hundreds of items of spending at the 2015 general election.