Conservative MP fined for misusing public funds for political advantage


Chris Davies, Conservative Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire, has been fined by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for the misuse of public funds.

A mailing before the 2017 General Election – paid for using public money – was determined to be used for unfair political advantage.

This breach of the code of conduct resulted in a fine of £5,037.90.

A spokesperson for the Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrats said:

“This is yet another example of inappropriate conduct from the Member of Parliament. This latest act, using public money for his own political advantage, is further evidence of his careless approach to spending his constituents’ money.

“From December 2015 to November 2016 his expenses claims of £66,114.52 made him the most expensive MP in Wales, excluding staffing and travel costs.

“He seems to have no problem taking public money, yet time and time again supports his Government slashing funding to vital services.”

 

Summarising her report, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (Kathryn Hudson) said:

“The complaint I investigated was that the Member had misused House-provided stationery (paper and prepaid envelopes) by using it to confer an undue advantage on a political organisation.”

“I found that the Member had sent out a mailshot to 7,500 recipients (comprising a survey and covering letter) one week after the decision to dissolve Parliament was taken. I found that he could reasonably have foreseen that responses to the survey would not arrive in time for him to make use of them for parliamentary purposes, before he ceased to be a Member on the Dissolution of Parliament on 3 May 2017. I also found that the content of the letter, was likely to be read as party political, given its timing, and that the two components of the mailshot served to increase awareness of his name as the incumbent MP ahead of the imminent General Election.”

“The Member accepted my decision, acknowledged and apologised for his breach of the Code of Conduct and agreed to refund the cost of the misused stationery to the House authorities. I considered that to be an appropriate resolution and concluded the matter using the rectification procedure.”


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