Welsh MPs hit the headlines over expenses - and Bambi


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.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    #11 I am evn more confused than I thought. My missing contribtions are on David's other blog, not Bethan's.
    It's all rather Joseph's dream: two weeks of nothing, then two blogs at once. Or perhaps, like Cardiff buses.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    #8 This represents a historic moment, Mab.
    There exists elements of agreement between us.
    I have gone all misty eyed and Kipling 'East is East..' and all that.
    BTW on Bethan's blog, I have rather stolen your role by getting two yellow cards.
    Strange times.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Don't you believe dis. With that red whiskey nose, he's a sitting duck.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Oh well - at least Rudolf is safe!

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    5: I think your assumption like your whole character is wrong dear boy. This isn’t the only law the Con/Dems were questioning before the Supreme Court findings but how wrong were they. I think Westminster should send their lawyers back to night school although I might concede that we need is more clarity of what’s our Government can do and can’t at present before we have a full parliament.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    There is also the Welsh Language Law which the Attorney general had to concede over, just before that went to the Supreme Court. Wales 2. Westminster School children 0.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Hmmm, not quite Boxer. This is what Westminster said originaly. QC for the Attorney General, Jonathan Swift, told the court it was "plain as a pikestaff" that the bill exceeded the assembly's powers by changing the powers of UK ministers.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-19886579 There

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    'WG byelaw bill which was cynically questioned by London'
    This was the first Bill in the new regime: it was thus sensible to get an authoratative ruling on how the new powers of WAG played out if they appeared to overlap with non-devolved issues. Hence reference to the Supreme Court. So, maybe London was being restrictive. Maybe Cardiff was being pushey. That's why there's a referee.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Supreme Court clears by-laws bill
    More to the point the Welsh Assembly Government has shown again its maturity against the petty childishness and arrogance of the Westminster Government and welsh MPs. So what do those who were saying Westminster was right in this say now. Wales Government got it right again. Wales 2, Westminster 0

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Same old practises by our money grabbing MPs. They seem determined to find way or a loop hole to do it. Also Glyn Davies is an absolute numbskull for his Tweets regarding his bloodlust and I see also that the WG byelaw bill which was cynically questioned by London was correct & lawful. The Supreme court today confirmed it's legal, within their power and the Con/Dems were wrong. Fantastic! lol

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    She stated that she wasn't claiming for her mortgage. Well correct me if I'm wrong but she couldn't claim for it anyway, could she? This is just another way of usurping the rules. This needs to be stopped once and for all.

    And the saddest thing is they still don't think they are doing anything wrong. All points in their moral compass must point to "ME".

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    He can't know much about hunting given his choice of inadequate firearms: a shotgun? Worse a .22! Using either of those would be an exercise in gross cruelty. This renting business may be within the rule, such as they are, but seems pretty sordid to me. On another matter, PFI loving ex-MP now police commissioner Alun Micheal will have problems with Ammanford PFI police station. Biter bit I think.



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