A Conservative MSP hired a firm owned by himself and his brother to build his website and then claimed for the costs back on expenses, STV News has learned.

Finlay Carson, who represents Galloway and West Dumfries in Holyrood, made the claim for the costs in March.

The MSP, who is his party's spokesman on the digital economy, hired CMS Broadband Ltd to build his website, a firm owned by himself and his brother John Carson.

Despite the four-figure sum for the website, STV News has learned the site is built with a free-to-use content management system called Joomla.

Holyrood's expenses scheme is underpinned by a series of principles including selflessness.

MSPs are barred from claiming expenses "in order to gain financial or other benefit for the member or any other person".

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: "If there is a breach of the rules, we will of course comply with whatever the parliamentary authorities advise and pay back any costs."

When asked about the claim a Holyrood spokeswoman said: "When claiming under the Members' Expenses Scheme, members are expected to act in accordance with the principles and rules of the scheme."

Since becoming an MSP in 2016, Carson has not drawn a salary from CMS but remains a director as well as a controlling shareholder alongside his brother.

He is now facing calls to return the money to parliamentary authorities.

SNP MSP Emma Harper said: "At the very least this looks like a spectacular lapse of judgment by Finlay Carson.

"Office budgets aren't there for MSPs to use as a top-up to their salary or to bankroll their own businesses.

"Finlay Carson should make clear if he financially benefited from billing the taxpayer to a company in which he is a significant shareholder - and if he did, Finlay Carson should return this money urgently."