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Updated: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 19:10:53 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Conservative lawyer Arthur Hamilton assisted MP Del Mastro



Conservative Parliamentary Secretary Dean Del Mastro rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday March 1, 2012. Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

Conservative Parliamentary Secretary Dean Del Mastro rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday March 1, 2012. Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton, who wrote a $13,500 cheque to cover Senator Mike Duffy's legal fees earlier this year, also assisted MP Dean Del Mastro while he was in caucus.

Del Mastro is no longer in the Conservative caucus after he was charged under the Elections Act with filing a false document and failing to report $21,000 in expenses from the 2008 election. The allegations had been dogging Del Mastro for more than a year.

But Del Mastro said he received free legal advice from the party's lawyer while he was in the caucus and after he left to sit as an independent.

"I never submitted any invoices from my personal lawyer to the party for payment. That said, [Conservative Party of Canada] lawyer Arthur Hamilton has assisted me throughout without any cost to me whatsoever," Del Mastro told CBC News Network's Power & Politics host Evan Solomon on Wednesday.

"I have never submitted anything to the CPC for payment, never. CPC lawyer Arthur Hamilton has assisted me and I have never paid anything for his time," Del Mastro told CBC News.

Asked if he had spoken to Hamilton since he left caucus, Del Mastro said, " I haven't spoken to him personally, but I know he and my lawyer have spoken since."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told the House "the party regularly reimburses members of its caucus for valid legal expenses, as do other parties."

Duffy revealed the $13,500 payment by Hamilton to cover his legal fees in a blistering statement in the Senate on Monday.

Harper also noted Wednesday in the House of Commons that NDP Leader Tom Mulcair had legal fees covered by his party when he was a Quebec Liberal MNA.

Edmonton Conservative MP Peter Goldring said Wednesday he paid his own "very expensive" legal fees while facing a criminal charge this year.

Goldring was acquitted in June of refusing to provide a breath sample after he had run up significant legal bills of his own.

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