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Politician threatens PCC complaint over expenses story

A politician threatened to report his local weekly paper to the Press Complaints Commission if it did not publish his full statement on a story about his expense claims.

The Llanelli Star ran a story about Welsh Assembly member Keith Davies who ran up a bill of nearly £5,000 for staying at five-star hotels, which was almost double that of any other AM.

He was criticised for not speaking directly to the Star about the expense claims, with him instead issuing a statement through a Labour spokesman – who said if the paper did not publish it in full, it would be reported to the PCC.

The paper reported that Mr Davies made 32 claims for stays in hotels in Cardiff covering 60 nights since he was elected last year which came to £4,846.

His total represented 15pc of all hotel claims made by AMs since May last year.

Llanelli Star editor Bede MacGowan said: “Of course it is entirely up to any politician how they communicate with the media, but equally that will never stop us asking the awkward questions on behalf of our readers and the communities we serve.
“We believe elected members should be directly answerable to the people who put them there and it is one of our jobs to hold them to account.”

A spokesman for Mr Davies told the Star: “The total cost of stays away from home claimed by Labour’s three AMs in the Mid and West Wales region was £16,598 compared to £19,713 by two Conservatives and £38,791 by the four Plaid AMs.

“Keith Davies’s claims for staying away from home were much lower than most other AMs, as during that time period he did not have permanent accommodation away from Llanelli.”

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  • August 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Ought somebody be asking whether it was possible for Llanelli Welsh Assembly politician Keith Davies was able to get the train home from Cardiff? If he wasn’t able to, that ought to be the story – eg.

    West Walians forced to kip down in Cardiff
    due to no late nite trains shocker

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