Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 17:18 UK

Welsh MP expense claims released

Huw Irranca-Davies
Huw Irranca-Davies says he will pay back £127.66 for whisky

The first official details have emerged of the expenses of Welsh MPs, as authorities released the claims of every member of the House of Commons.

They have led to Ogmore MP and minister Huw Irranca-Davies agreeing to pay back £127 claimed in an "indefensible" error for whisky used as a raffle prize.

Monmouth Conservative MP David Davies also defended the payment of almost £2,000 to his family's business.

This is the first time the details have been published by the authorities.

They have been released by the Commons authorities after a long-running Freedom of Information struggle, although some key details of the claims have been blacked out.

Some information had already been revealed after it was obtained by the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Irranca-Davies, a minister in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), claimed for a case of House of Commons whisky intended as raffle prizes in his constituency as part of his MP's expenses.

Mr Irranca-Davies, said that it was clearly an "error and indefensible" and that he would be paying back the £127.66 that he was paid.

David Davies
David Davies made payments to his family's business

Writing a cheque

He told BBC Wales that he had bought nine or 10 such cases over the past few years to give as donations to local raffles and was not sure how that one had ended up being put through as part of his allowance claims.

He said he would be immediately writing a cheque to the House of Commons Fees Office.

Meanwhile, Monmouth MP David Davies has defended payments made to his family's business as part of his expenses claims.

Last year, the Conservative MP paid nearly £2,000 to a haulage company called Burrow Heath, based in Newport, for production of newsletters and other promotional material.

Mr Davies told BBC Wales that the work was done at short notice and at cost value, and neither he or any of his family made any profit from the work.

He said he was now using a specialist company in London for the production of such material, one that was used by many other MPs, and the real cost was significantly higher.

He acknowledged that some of his constituents may question the use of the family firm for such work. But Mr Davies stressed that it was done at short notice, in time for the Monmouth Show, and there was the appropriate support available from Burrow Heath at the time.

Burrow Heath has now ceased trading as a company.

Mr Davies is establishing an independent panel to scrutinise all of his expenses claims.

In the details released by Commons authorities, the addresses that claims relate to - and correspondence - have been removed on privacy and security grounds.

This means it is not possible to see if MPs "flipped" second homes - a key part of the Daily Telegraph's revelations from its leaked version of the data.

MPs have said some details, like addresses and travel patterns, had to be withheld for security reasons.

More details of other Welsh MPs' expenses claims will be published by BBC Wales in due course.



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