Monday, November 19, 2007

Plaid Cymru MPs ordered to pay back misused public funds

Three naughty Plaid Cymru MPs have been ordered to pay back the money they spent from the Communications Allowances for party political campiagning. During the Welsh Assembly election campaign Elfyn Llwyd, Adam Price and Hywel Williams all took out adverts in the Daily Post, a daily paid-for paper circulating in North Wales.

They paid for the adverts using their Communication Allowance, and whilst they did seek guidance on the content, the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges concluded that "the advice given to them, in good faith, was based on incomplete information". The report went on to say that,
"Taken overall, the fact that the advertisements appeared virtually simultaneously; the proximity of publication to the Welsh Assembly elections; the prominent use of party logos; and the extensive nature of the reports' distribution beyond the Members' own constituencies, in our view constitutes campaigning, and therefore breaches paragraph 6.1.1. of the Green Book.
As a result the Committee has said that all three MPs must pay back the cost of the advert. I wonder if Ruth Kelly will face the same punishment for her misuse of public funds for party political purposes?

Copies of the Plaid avderts can be seen here.


Anonymous said...

It isn't just the cost of the adverts they should repay - how about making them pay for the costs of re-running the elections given that the ads were undoubtedly intended to influence electors? Or would the newspapers claim that their readership aren't influenced by advertising?

Anonymous said...

And they cost twice as much as they should have done because they had to be in Welsh as well