Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Sunday, 17 May 2009 13:52 UK

Brunstrom 'may probe' MP expenses

Richard Brunstrom
Richard Brunstrom will retire as chief constable in July

North Wales Police's chief constable has warned he may take action against MPs on his patch if they had wrongly claimed expenses.

Richard Brunstrom said recent revelations in the Daily Telegraph "warrant criminal investigation".

North Wales has so far escaped the spotlight, but the police chief said the scandal "shocked him to the core".

His comments came as he addressed a Rotary Club function in Rhyl, Denbighshire.

It follows the public anger expressed over some MPs' questionable expenses claims.

Mr Brunstrom, who is retiring in July, said he was considering asking the editor of the Daily Telegraph if he has any evidence of law-breaking involving MPs from north Wales.

He told the meeting: "The contempt being shown to the public by MPs beggars belief.

They have no respect for the process and these revelations I believe warrant criminal investigation
Richard Brunstrom


"I am thinking of asking the editor of the Daily Telegraph if he has any evidence of law-breaking involving any MPs in north Wales. There has been talk of funding private prosecutions and bloody well right, too."

He said he had been angered by some of the MPs' expense claims.

"As a public servant who has always acted honourably throughout my 30 years in the police service, I need a receipt if I buy a Mars bar and want to claim for it and I would arrest anyone who stole a Mars bar from Woolworths," he is reported to have said.

"We cannot forgive the banality of people who steal from the public purse and then have the gall to believe that if they hand it back, then that makes it all right. They have no respect for the process and these revelations, I believe, warrant criminal investigation."

Mr Brunstrom told the event that for Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to employ her own husband and then mistakenly claim for him viewing two adult films was "one example of earth-shattering proportion".

"There is going to be blood," he said.

"This is an issue of such magnitude and public importance that the police should be taking a positive interest in what is emerging."

His call for action has been backed by Paul Flynn, the MP for Newport West.

He told BBC Wales' Politics Show that Members of Parliament should be treated no differently that anyone else.

"If someone is suspected of fraud they should be take to the courts and he's (Mr Brunstrom) absolutely right".

He added that police chief constables across the UK should be prepared to investigate any of their local MPs who face allegations of false expenses claims.

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