Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 12:40 UK

Many MPs 'considered resigning'

David Davies MP
David Davies left the Welsh assembly to become an MP

A Conservative MP says he believes many of his parliamentary colleagues have considered quitting amid revelations over their expenses claims.

Monmouth MP David Davies said it had "undermined" them, and he feared he was now seen as "a thief on the make".

However, there has been no suggestion that Mr Davies has done anything wrong.

He announced plans for an independent panel to examine his expenses, but said he had gone through the payments, and believed he had no reason for concern.

Mr Davies, who became an MP in 2005, spoke after days of reports in the Daily Telegraph about leaked parliamentary receipts.

"This whole thing has completely undermined the reputation generally of every single MP," Mr Davies told BBC Radio Wales.

"A lot of MPs are asking themselves 'Can I look in the mirror?'

A lot of [MPs] are saying 'What's it all about, should we get out, have I had enough?'
David Davies MP, Monmouth

"A lot of people are saying 'What's it all about, should we get out, have I had enough?'

"And I think a lot of them will find the public will be helpful in pushing them in that direction anyway."

He told Good Morning Wales: "It's a very strange mood. People who have been there [Parliament] 20 or 30 years say they've never seen anything like it.

"I was at a public meeting last night talking about something completely different, and I thought, 'I wonder how many of these people think I'm some sort of a thief on the make'."

Asked if he had considered leaving the Commons, he said: "I don't think there are many people who haven't thought about that at some point, but I don't want to do that at the moment."

Mr Davies, who left his seat in the Welsh assembly to become an MP, said the panel he will form to look at his expenses would have to be "above reproach".

It would not include Tories and would be made up of respected local people. He suggested that people interested in joining it could e-mail him.

Asked if he had anything to worry about with his own expenses, Mr Davies said: "I honestly spend a long time going through my ACA [Additional Costs Allowance] and I really don't think I have [concerns].

"But I can't say that somewhere in there there won't be something that's been a bit silly or stupid, but I couldn't find it yesterday. So perhaps that's tempting fate - we shall see."

Mr Davies also gave an insight into how he and other Tory MPs were interviewed by senior Conservatives when first elected.

"All sorts of things were discussed," he said. "It was primarily about what we were wanting to do in Parliament and what our views were and I think we were being sounded out about whether we were likely to be troublemakers in some sense.

"And then we got on to the subject of accommodation and it was very much a small part of a much wider conversation. And the advice I had is in my head now.

[Senior Tory:] 'Are you a wealthy man, Davies?'

[Davies]: 'No I'm not.'

[Senior Tory:] 'Didn't make any money in the City?'

[Davies]: 'No I didn't. I haven't really got any wealth of that sort at all.'

[Senior Tory]: 'Well in that case I should make sure you get yourself sorted out with a property because you need something in London. You need a base here.'

'Make sure you go south of the river. Don't buy anywhere expensive or flash because you'll need some of that money left over to pay the bills. We don't want you getting into financial trouble.'

Mr Davies added: "We were told that we had this allowance and it was there to pay the interest or rent on a property primarily in London and it made sense."



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