Llanelli AM's £4,800 bill for hotel rooms under fire
LLANELLI'S AM racked up a £4,846 bill for hotel rooms over the past year — more than double that of any other Assembly Member.
Keith Davies made 32 claims for stays in hotels in Cardiff covering 60 nights since he was elected last year — at a cost of £2,200 more than the second highest claiming AM.
His total represents 15 per cent of all hotel claims made by AMs since May last year.
Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance described it as "unbelievable" that one AM could mount up such a costly bill.
"Keith Davies should explain why his time at hotels is costing taxpayers much more than it is for other members," he said.
"Politicians shouldn't forget who is paying their expenses when they need overnight accommodation, and should do more to control the cost."
Labour said his hotel claims were less costly than claims made by other AMs who rent flats.
His spokesman said: "The total cost of stays away from home claimed by Labour's three AMs in the Mid and West Wales region was £16,598 compared to £19,713 by two Conserv- atives and £38,791 by the four Plaid Cymru AMs.
"Keith Davies's claims for staying away from home were much lower than most other AMs as during that time period he did not have permanent accommodation away from Llanelli."
It is the second hotel controversy for the AM this year. In May Mr Davies apologised to constituents following a drunken incident at the St David's Hotel in Cardiff.
Mid and West Wales AM Simon Thomas claimed £1,363 on 10 hotel stays in the year, as well as £7,635 for a second home in Cardiff. is spokesman said hotel claims were made before Mr Thomas found a second home.
Labour said Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson's £10,126 claim for a second home, and £545 for the eight occasions she needed a hotel room, can be explained as she lives in Pembrokeshire and needs a flat to fulfil AM duties and as a member of three committees.
The spokesmen added the claims were made in line with rules set by an independent board.