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An iPod on public expenses? What a disgrace.

Go now.

We really need to be a lot less tolerant of elected Conservatives, and politicians in general who see and use public office as an opportunity to line their own pockets.

Do these people not think about their actions when they make these expenses claims or do they not care about this behaviour and how it will be seen?

I was extremely concerned to see him attend a protest organised by fringe fundamentalist group Christian Voice. Even a little research into them would have dissuaded most politicians from attending what may have appeared to be an innocent looking protest.

He should go before this becomes a big(ish) story.

Get rid of him now.

We need politicians who want to serve not to serve themselves. If Cameron had any courage he would expel him from the party.

There must be an opening on the staff of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

And there's more...

Welsh Labour has revealed that two Conservative Welsh Assembly Members have paid nearly £5,000 within a ten month period to a PR firm linked to a Tory parliamentary candidate for undertaking “constituency press work” on their behalf.

The company, Hart Media Services is registered at Companies House with the name of the Conservatives’ Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire for the next General Election, Simon Hart, as a director. He is also the Chief Executive of the influential rural affairs lobby group, the Countryside Alliance.

http://www.welshlabour.org.uk/taxpayers_funding_tory_candidates_pr_firm,2008-12-13

If he has abused his expenses in this way he should resign before he is sacked. If these expenses are within the rules, the rules need to be changed.

Not good, obviously, 2452 - but surely no worse than the "Communications Allowance" which allows sitting MPs to peddle propoganda on the tax-payer

As a member of the Welsh Conservatives I think we should remember the great service Nick Bourne has given to the Conservative Party. His electoral history as leader is very impressive, with Conservatives in Wales improving year on year under his leadership (unlike the Lib Dems who have stagnated under he leadership of Mike German and have the same number of AMs now as they did in 1999 - 6 by the way!).

However, sadly his recent performances, such as the document personally attacking Rhodri Morgan (and then trying to blame others for it), as well as these recent embarassing expenses claims signal that it is time for some new blood in Cardiff Bay. Thanks to Nick Bourne we have become a credible opposition in Wales, best placed to benefit from anti-Labour/Plaid sentiment in future Assembly elections. However, I think it is time to give someone else a chance to take us to the next level.

If I bought an iPod and tried to charge it to my employers I'd be out of a job within seconds.

Will James - Nick Bourne's "very impressive" electoral history - Are you kidding?

He hasn't been elected on a first past the post basis to anything in his life!! He was one of the ones who refused to stand as first-past-the-post Assembly candidate at the last election, opting instead to go via the loser's route by being on the regional PR list.

Paul D@15:34 Parliamentary rules prevent MPs paying PR companies for issuing press releases (in theory anyway)

I think you will find that Assembly expenses rules are considerably more lax than even the snout-fest at Westminster.

Paul D@15:34 Parliamentary rules prevent MPs paying PR companies for issuing press releases (in theory anyway)

I think you will find that Assembly expenses rules are considerably more lax than even the Westminster snout-fest.

Paul D@15:34 Parliamentary rules prevent MPs paying PR companies for issuing press releases (in theory anyway)

I think you will find that Assembly expenses rules are considerably more lax than even the Westminster snout-fest.

Gotta go.

anon 16:21 - unlike Westminster AM's have to declare every single expenses claim, even if it's just for a £1.

Knock on a dozen doors at election time (any election) and ask the public what they think. I guarantee that at least half of those asked will say that “politicians are all the same because they are only in it for themselves”.

Incidents like this just tend to reinforce the general view.

Hen Ferchetan said "anon 16:21 - unlike Westminster AM's have to declare every single expenses claim, even if it's just for a £1."

That sounds like a good idea and since the AMs know this you think they would have more brains than to stuff their expenses - even if it is allowable. Some things are just stupid.....

I really don't see how MP's can think it right to take advantage of expenses, especially with the media peering so closely at things like this. It's bloody stupid.

If Conservative MPs are clever they will all be sorting their games out now.

Carlsberg 16.15 - Perhaps I should have clarified. I wasn't refering to Nick Bourne's personal electoral history, which is admittedly on the list system. I was talking about Conservative Party performance under his overall leadership, which has gone from having 9 AMs in 1999 to 12 today, and hopefully set for even greater numbers in 2011.

Your reference to the regional top-up process as a "loser's route" highlights one of the greater flaws in the PR system: the electoral legitimacy between those elected via FPTP and those on the lists.

His support for the loathsome Stephen Green shows zero political judgment and is far more serious than his financial misdemeanors. He should resign before he does any more damage.

It is interesting that nobody I know in Welsh politics has contributed here.

Following Rod Richards was a hard act for Nick and he has done it with aplomb.

The last Welsh Assembly elections were both a success and a disappointment for us - increased representation (+3) when we may well have won another 3 or 4 putting us into second place. All being well we will consolidate in second place next time.

Never mind Nick and his I Player what have labour and Plaid put through their expenses?

Time to day goodbye..... and good riddance to this useless wet.

Time to say goodbye..... and good riddance to this useless wet.

I am no fan of Nick Bourne, but if this is such a bad misdemeanour, shouldn't Alun Cairns AM, Conservative Westminster candidate in the Vale of Glamorgan, who also claimed for an ipod, be barred from standing at the next general election?

If Nick Bourne were forced out and not Mr Cairns, wouldn't that be double-standards.

PS - the Conservatives gained only 1 seat at the last Assembly elections and are the third largest party in the National Assembly for Wales, behind Labour and Plaid Cymru.

The rules clearly need to be changed. One Tory AM claimed for an ironing board cover at £3.99. It's utterly ridiculous and if people who are elected to public office cannot exercise proper judgement themselves then the rules governing their behaviour need to be changed - and then rigorously enforced.

Who are the possible replacements? Are they all wets or is there a chance of us actually campaining against the assembly?

What about Hashim?

There's a lot that hasn't come out about NB.

Conservatives went from 1 constituency first past the post to 5 at the last assembly elections with many more now marginal consituencies.

The result of gaining these is losing the regional seats - however we were close in South Wales East and North Wales.

Mark Isherwood even though he got in on the list would have taken Delyn!

The Finch of CraigYDon lost out to Plaid Janet Ryder in North Wales.

Glyn Davies AM could have won Monty if he had gone first past the post - the montgomeryshire regional vote was higher than the constituency!

Laura Ann Jones AM lost her regional seat being betrayed by Big Daddy Peter Davies and the anti-assembly campaigners who wouldn't get off their backsides.

James Roach could have ousted the Plaid Leader if former North Wales AM Peter Rogers who left the Conservatives had not decided to stand as an independant.

wil_cc - I think you'll find that we Welsh Conservatives support not only the Assembly, but call for more powers. It could be very very good way of running Wales if only we could get the Labour tripe out of office. We nerely did last year going into power with the Libs and Plaid.

Wales is generaly ignored in Westminster and always has been as most (of the relatively few) seats are safe labour - battling over Welsh issues were never going to win general elections.
We, as well as Labour let down the Welsh big time in the 70s 80s and 90s (what Redwood did was unforgivable - what labour failed to do for their own constituencies was more so!) Wales is poor and underdeveloped compared to the rest of the UK. Now Wales has a means of running itself properly, we just need to get rid of the labour and all their 'third sector' cronies.
I was very sceptical back in 97 and didn't vote in the referendum. Now I'm a proud convert - it doesn't threaten the Union, I have friends in Plaid Cymru who say that only about 50% of their members want independence - it's not really an issue, it only is because of what's happening in Scotland. I think the assembly can be exported - slim down westminster so that it only deals with the big stuff; foreign affairs, deffence and the big elements of fiscal control. The rest ought to be done on regional levels - it has to - all regions are diferent and need their own approaches.

If we ran Wales it could be a blueprint for godd governance for the whole of the UK - closer and more responsive to people than Westminster.

There's the Welsh Conservative view for you - as you can see, it's come a long way since 97 - I'd say, with the likes of David Melding who is a top AM, we can turn devolution on its head - let it be the (re)making of the UK, not its breaking.

Bourne has done well - an opponent of devolution early on, now he's for more powers, as are the group in general. He's battled hard for a long time with little recognition from the wider party. The wider party may owe him a few 'let offs' though Jonathan Morgan is in the wings, waiting patiently. It's stupid what he and CAirns did - they all knew that every item would be down on the list. What's interesting is why didn't they put it down as an MP3 recorder? or did someone else fill out his expenses form?

WelshCon does not speak for the majority of Welsh members so far as devolution and more powers are concerned and I must assume it has been posted by an AM since they are the cheerleaders.

The Western Mail seem to have their knives out for Nick and are keeping the story running. In one article they quoted extensively from this thread and I would suggest we try to avoid giving them more ammunition despite my comments about morer powers.

Supporting further powers is official party policy, check our manifesto last year - devolution can work, why are we so paranoid and afraid of it?

WelshCon - you wouldn't know the Conservative view if it slapped you in the face.

You're right that our 12 little piglets in Cardiff Bay support and want more powers (of which I suspect you're one).

Do you seriously believe that every Conservative member and supporter has followed Bourne's volt face?

Bollocks. It's a waste of money, scrap it.

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