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"The Davies Principle"

Betsan Powys | 22:20 UK time, Thursday, 14 May 2009

Or perhaps that should be "the T.C. Principle".

David T.C Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth, revealed to the audience at tonight's All Wales Convention event in the town's Leisure Centre, that he'd a flash of inspiration on the train on the way home from London.

First came the shame and horror of realising that in his own view, MPs no longer have a moral authority to do anything. "The guiding hand of Westminster" as his fellow panelist Adam Price MP put it, "has been well and truly caught in the cookie jar". The audience cheered.

Then came the cunning plan. David Davies has asked a former local Labour candidate to choose two or three other local, non-Conservative people to sit on an in independent panel that will review their MP's each and every receipt.

From tomorrow David Davies will invite anyone who fancies the job to come forward. He'll have no role in appointing them but once formed, he will face the panel and reveal - if needs be justify to them - every receipt he's ever submitted as an MP: office costs, staff costs, allowances, the lot.

They will have his permission to contact the Fees Office if they want to check up on him, contact the local paper if they want to shop him.

From then on in he'll meet them once every two months and continue the process of revealing to them and discussing with them every receipt. Once the party leaders agree on a system that is acceptable and transparent, the panel may want to disband. It may want to carry on scrutinising his expenditure. He'll abide by the panel's decision. Their word will be final.

Why is he doing this? Is he joining the hairshirt race Ann Widdecombe warned against?

He says not. He simply can't wait until the authorities work something out. He can't operate without trust and moral authority until what could, he suspects, quite possibly be the beginning of the next financial year.

So there you go: the Davies Principle.

It must be better than the principle by which one of Adam Price's ancestors, a Liberal politican, claimed his fellow politicans lived:

You get in to get on. You get on to get honours. You get out to get honest.

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