Chris Davies: Tory MP convicted for faking expenses reselected by party to stand in by-election

‘Chris is local, he knows the area,’ explains local Conservative Party chair

Adam Forrest@adamtomforrest
Monday 24 June 2019 16:35
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April 2019: Tory MP Christopher Davies fined £1500 over false expenses invoices

Former Conservative MP Chris Davies has been selected by the party to fight for the same parliamentary seat he lost following a recall petition triggered by his conviction for faking expenses claims.

More than 10,000 people in the Welsh constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire signed a petition to remove the Tory MP earlier this year after he admitted submitting two false expenses invoices for nine photographs costing £700 to decorate his new office.

Convicted in March, Mr Davies was fined £1,500, ordered to pay £2,500 towards legal costs and told to carry out 50 hours of community service.

Local officials confirmed the 51-year-old would stand again as the Tory candidate for the forthcoming by-election following a vote of party members held in Talgarth on Sunday night.

Mr Davies, who held the seat since 2015, insisted he was “the right person” for the contest. “I would like to thank members of my local association for supporting me, and putting their faith in me once again,” he said.

“I look forward to campaigning over the next few weeks and winning back this seat, so that I can continue to work hard for the people of Brecon and Radnorshire,” he added. “A lot has been achieved over the past four years, but there is so much more to do, and I am the right person to do it.”

Peter Weavers, chair of Brecon and Radnorshire Conservatives, said Mr Davies still had the “full backing” of his party despite the recall petition.

“Chris is local, he knows the area, he knows the constituents, knows the issues and problems we face, and that matters. Chris is not simply a one-issue wannabe politician, as his record shows.”

The Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party and Labour have all announced they will contest the seat. A spokesperson for the Lib Dems said: “By adopting Chris Davies again the Conservatives have demonstrated they can offer nothing more than an MP embroiled in controversy. People deserve better.”

The Tories were forced to call a by-election after 19 per cent of Mr Davies’ constituents – well above the 10 per cent threshold needed for a recall – ousted Mr Davies from his job.

It is the second time an MP has been successfully recalled after Labour’s Fiona Onasanya was unseated in Peterborough after her conviction for perverting the course of justice over a driving offence.

Although a date for the latest by-election has yet to be arranged, it is set to become be the first electoral test for the new prime minister, since the Tory leadership contest leader is likely to have finished before it is held.

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