Chris Davies: Conservative MP pleads guilty to false expense charges

Tory pleads guilty to providing false or misleading expenses in ‘disastrous accounting episode’

Conservative MP arrives at court charged with expenses fraud

Conservative MP Christopher Davies has pleaded guilty to two charges of submitting false expense invoices.

The Brecon and Radnorshire MP admitted to the charges when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

He admitted one charge of providing false or misleading information for allowances claims.

The offence related to an incident in March 2016, where he claimed under the MPs’ allowances scheme before providing an invoice he knew to be incorrect.

Davies also pleaded guilty to a second charge of attempting to provide false or misleading information for allowances claims, relating to an incident in April 2016.

Thomas Forster QC, defending, told the court Davies accepts his responsibility and expresses his “sincere and unreserved apology for what he has done”.

Mr Forster said the 51-year-old had experienced: “A disastrous accounting episode, as far as he is concerned.

“He recognises he is the author of his own misfortune, all of this has to be laid at his door and blames no-one else but himself.”

The court heard Davies had already informed Commons speaker John Bercow of his intention to plead guilty.

Mr Forster said his client, who was seated in the dock wearing a grey suit and pink shirt, is a “family man” with two children, who is local to his constituency.

“It took courage to plead guilty and face the music,” Mr Forster added. “He has not shied away from that responsibility and he should be given credit.”

Davies served as a Tory councillor in Powys before he was elected as MP in Brecon and Radnorshire at the 2015 general election, unseating incumbent Liberal Democrat Roger Williams with the seat’s largest majority since 1983.

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In January 2018, he was appointed private secretary to the Wales Office.

He was charged in February this year.

Before entering politics he worked as a rural auctioneer, an estate agent and also managed a mixed veterinary practice in Hay-on-Wye.

Additional reporting by PA

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