Chris Davies (Conservative politician)

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Christopher Davies

Official portrait of Chris Davies crop 2.jpg
Official Parliamentary portrait, June 2017
Member of Parliament
for Brecon and Radnorshire
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded byRoger Williams
Majority8,038 (19.5%)
Personal details
Born (1967-08-18) 18 August 1967 (age 51)[1]
Swansea Valley, United
Kingdom
Political partyConservative

Christopher Paul Davies[2] (born 18 August 1967) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire after winning the seat in the 2015 general election.[3] In March 2019, he pleaded guilty to two counts alleging fraud concerning Parliamentary expenses.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Davies attended Morriston School in Wales.[5] He worked as a rural auctioneer and estate agent, before managing a large veterinary practice in Hay-on-Wye. He is a regular main ring commentator at the Royal Welsh Show.[6][7]

Political career[edit]

Davies was the Conservative candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire at the 2011 Welsh Assembly election.[6]

He was elected to Powys County Council in 2012, representing Glasbury ward.[8]

He was first elected to the UK Parliament as MP for Brecon and Radnorshire at the 2015 general election, defeating the incumbent Liberal Democrat Roger Williams. He was re-elected with an increased majority at the 2017 election. During the 2017 election campaign, Davies was ordered to repay the cost of 7,500 House of Commons envelopes, costing £5,037.90, which he used to send surveys to his constituents, a week after the decision was taken to dissolve Parliament ahead of the general election. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority ruled that Davies “could reasonably have foreseen that responses to the survey would not arrive in time for him to make use of them for parliamentary purposes”, and the content of the letter was “likely to be read as party political". Davies apologised and agreed to repay the costs.[9]

Davies is a lifelong Eurosceptic and a member of the European Research Group. In February 2019 Davies indicated that he was a reluctant supporter of Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal, explaining that he voted to endorse the government's strategy, as a no deal Brexit remained "very much on the table".[10][11]

He is a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, and in 2018 was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Stuart Andrew and Nick Bourne in the Wales Office.[12]

Expenses claims[edit]

In April 2018, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority – which oversees MPs' expenses – referred Davies to the Metropolitan Police "in relation to an allegation of fraudulent expense claims submitted by an individual". Davies said he made an "honest mistake" in the expenses form he submitted for photographs at his Builth Wells constituency office. Accused of manually creating two invoices for £450 and £250 rather than submitting the full £700 claim for the photographs by computer, Davies attributed the claim to "my inexperience of the IPSA code" and stated that he had done nothing wrong.[13][14] On 17 July 2018 he was interviewed under caution.[15] Davies was questioned by police for a second time in October 2018 over the allegations.[16]

In January 2019 police passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).[14][17] On 21 February 2019, the CPS announced that Davies had been charged with two counts of making a false instrument and one count of providing false or misleading information for allowance claims.[18] He pleaded guilty to two counts on 22 March 2019 in the Crown Court at Southwark. On 23 April 2019 he was sentenced to a community order requiring 50 hours' unpaid work, together with a fine of £1,500.[19][20][21] In sentencing the judge said "It seems shocking that when confronted with a simple accounting problem, you thought to forge documents. That is an extraordinary thing for a man with your position and your background to do."[22] The conviction automatically triggered the 2019 Brecon and Radnorshire recall petition; if more than 10% of the electorate in the constituency sign it within six weeks, a by-election for the seat will be held.[21][23][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Members' Names Data Platform query". UK Parliament. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ "No. 61230". The London Gazette. 18 May 2015. p. 9127.
  3. ^ "Brecon and Radnorshire Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Tory MP Christopher Davies admits expenses fraud". The Guardian. Press Association. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  5. ^ ‘DAVIES, Christopher Paul’, Who's Who 2016, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2016
  6. ^ a b "Hay vet Chris Davies becomes Brecon and Radnor's Conservative assembly candidate". Hereford Times. 22 November 2010.
  7. ^ "Chris Davies MP". The Welsh Conservative Party. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  8. ^ "About Chris". Chris Davies MP. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  9. ^ Williamson, David (5 October 2017). "A Welsh MP has been ordered to repay the cost of 7,500 envelopes". walesonline. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ Owen, Twm (15 February 2019). "MP Chris Davies reassured no deal Brexit 'still on the table'". The Brecon & Radnor Express. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Chris Davies MP statement on the Prime Minister's proposed Brexit agreement". Chris Davies. 16 November 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  12. ^ "How can ministerial aides scrutinise their own bosses?". BBC News. 23 January 2018.
  13. ^ 15 April 2018. "MP Chris Davies could face fraud probe over expenses claim". BBC News. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  14. ^ a b "File passed to prosecutors in Chris Davies expenses probe". The Brecon and Radnor Express. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Police quiz Chris Davies MP over expenses claim". BBC News. 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Police quiz Chris Davies MP again over expenses claim". BBC News. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Police pass file on Chris Davies MP's expenses to CPS". BBC News. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  18. ^ "MP Chris Davies charged with forgery over expenses claims". BBC News. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Tory MP Chris Davies guilty of false expenses claim". BBC News. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  20. ^ a b Bloom, Dan (22 March 2019). "Tory MP Chris Davies pleads guilty to two charges of expenses fraud". Daily Mirror. Press Association. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  21. ^ a b "False expense claim Tory MP Chris Davies fined £1,500". BBC News. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  22. ^ Mason, Rowena (23 April 2019). "Tory MP Chris Davies could face byelection after fake expenses claim". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  23. ^ Nicholas Mairs (22 March 2019). "Tory MP Christopher Davies pleads guilty to expense fraud charges". PoliticsHome.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Roger Williams
Member of Parliament
for Brecon and Radnorshire

2015–present
Incumbent