Welsh MPs hit the headlines over expenses - and Bambi
- 21 November 2012
- From the section Wales politics
Welsh MPs don't often make front page news these days although, unless you believe all publicity is good publicity, that can be a mixed blessing.
Labour MPs Madeleine Moon and Jessica Mordern find themselves on the front page of The Daily Telegraph as a result of their landlord-tenant relationship.
Ms Mordern rents a room in Mrs Moon's flat - and pays the £630 monthly rent using her parliamentary allowances.
Mrs Moon explained: "Prior to renting the room we obtained written agreement from IPSA and a verbal statement that the arrangement would bring savings to the public purse.
"I have not claimed for mortgage payments during this Parliament. The rent that Jessica pays is £630 per month, we each claim half of all utility, council tax and service charge bills. Together we claim less than one quarter of the accommodation allowance available to us which is £1600 per month."
Since the expenses scandal of 2009, MPs are no longer allowed to claim for mortgage payments but can claim for rent.
This has led to the situation where some MPs - including Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant - are both landlords and tenants in the same city, using (within the rules) their taxpayer-funded expenses to pay the rent on a property despite owning another home nearby.
Montgomeryshire Tory Glyn Davies has hit the headlines for other reasons. This tweet explains why: "Beautiful antlered stag in the garden, grazing on shrubs border. Oohs of admiration from family. I just wished I still had my 12 bore handy."
It was, he says, "semi-humorous" but the resulting Daily Mirror page was rather predictable. He later clarified things: "I accept that the reference to a 12-bore was wrong.....it should have been a .22 or some other rifle."
The Mirror has returned to its prey - now known as "Gun nut Tory MP" today, suggesting he may now have Bambi in his sights.
It's fair to say Mr Davies cannot walk far in the House of Commons without being congratulated on the publicity by a Tory colleague. Simon Hart, who used to run the Countryside Alliance, is said to be slightly envious at the profile Mr Davies has instantly gained for shooting (without firing a shot).
Mr Davies, who has not shot anything for decades, tweeted today: "As a nature-loving, soft-hearted, tree-hugger, its a shock being portrayed as gun-toting, Tory-toff, landowner. Not sure of electoral impact."
As least the publicity over the stag that was never shot means he'll no longer be known as the Tory politician caught transporting sheep with his trousers down.
I spoke too soon: Today's Mirror has returned to the man they now call "Gun rant Tory MP" to remind its readers of that incident involving sheep and underpants.