Fraud al­le­ga­tion against MP over claim for ex­penses

Western Mail - - NEWS -

BRE­CON and Rad­nor­shire Con­ser­va­tive MP Chris Davies could face ques­tions from the po­lice fol­low­ing an “al­le­ga­tion of fraud­u­lent ex­pense claims”.

The MP, who is an aide at the Wales Of­fice, said he made a “gen­uine mis­take” in how he sub­mit­ted a claim for pho­tographs which hang in his con­stituency of­fice and that the only per­son who is now out of pocket is him­self.

Mr Davies, who says he wants his “name cleared”, said an “ad­min­is­tra­tion er­ror” took place and he has paid back £450.

The Con­ser­va­tive party re­ceived a com­plaint in March which was then passed to the In­de­pen­dent Par­lia­men­tary Stan­dards Au­thor­ity (Ipsa). This body then re­ferred the mat­ter to the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice.

Mr Davies said the in­for­ma­tion has been in the pub­lic do­main for two years and that he had not known he had “done any­thing wrong”.

Mr Davies said he paid a pho­tog­ra­pher £700 for images. He sub­mit­ted a claim of £450 to be taken from the bud­get al­lo­cated for new MPs to open of­fices, which he had not used up. He in­tended to claim the re­main­ing £250 from his sep­a­rate of­fice costs bud­get, but never did this.

A spokes­woman for the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Ser­vice (MPS) said: “The com­pli­ance of­fi­cer for the In­de­pen­dent Par­lia­men­tary Stan­dards Au­thor­ity (Ipsa) made a re­fer­ral to the MPS on Wed­nes­day, April 4, in re­la­tion to an al­le­ga­tion of fraud­u­lent ex­pense claims sub­mit­ted by an in­di­vid­ual. The mat­ter is cur­rently sub­ject to an as­sess­ment by of­fi­cers from the Met’s Spe­cial En­quiry Team.”

A spokesman for Ipsa said: “Ipsa was made aware of this is­sue at the end of March 2018 and we have taken ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion, in­clud­ing the re­cov­ery of funds.”

> Chris Davies MP

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