'Pay hotel cash back' - top Tory tells AM

'Pay hotel cash back' - top Tory tells AM

EXPENSES CLAIM: Mohammad Asghar, AM for South Wales East has been called to pay back more than £1,200 he claimed on hotel stays in Cardiff

PAYBACK CALL: Cllr David Fouweather

First published in News
Last updated

THE leader of the Tories on Newport council has called on a city-based Conservative AM to pay back the cost of his Cardiff hotel stays.

The Argus revealed last month that Mohammad Asghar, AM for South Wales East, had stayed in the capital for 20 nights between May 2012 and November 2013 at a cost of more than £1,200.

His office said that the bookings were within the rules, but Councillor David Fouweather, recently installed leader of the Newport council Conservative group, said the latter argument just doesn’t wash with the public.

Cllr Fouweather also works in Cardiff and sometimes finishes late – but says he wouldn’t expect his employer to provide him with a hotel.

He told the Argus: “In the spirit of goodwill, Oscar should pay back the money he claimed for overnight stays.

“It simply isn’t good enough any more to say it’s within the rules. That’s what they said in Parliament when they were claiming for duck-houses – that excuse doesn’t wash with the public. I work in Cardiff; sometimes I finish work at 10 o’clock at night. I have to be back in Cardiff for half past seven.

“I don’t expect my employer to provide me with a hotel, and nor would they.”

The Argus put Cllr Fouweather’s comments to Mr Asghar’s office, but a spokesman for him stuck by a previous statement released in June, saying they had nothing further to add.

They reiterated: “The hotel bookings were not made by Mohammad Asghar, but by members’ business services to allow him to perform his duties as an assembly member and were within the rules of the National Assembly.”

The Argus reported in June that the stays cost £1,280 in total.

In comparison, a 16-minute return train journey between Newport and Cardiff Central currently costs £5.40 while a day ticket on a bus from Cardiff Central to the Bay is £3.60.

Only one other Gwent AM – Islwyn’s Gwyn Price – appeared to have claimed through the Cardiff overnight stay allowance during the time concerned, and that was for two nights.

Many of the overnight stays coincided with Mr Asghar’s attendance at public accounts committee meetings, which start at 9am.

Comments (15)

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9:49am Mon 7 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

I bought a very big alarm clock in the charity shop a few weeks ago for £4.00. Big bells, big hands, a big bright face and an alarm like a fire truck. I am willing to demonstrate this to "Oscar AM". I am sure it also would be "in the rules". It doesnt provide a late dinner or room
service athough you could put a cheese roll in the box.
I bought a very big alarm clock in the charity shop a few weeks ago for £4.00. Big bells, big hands, a big bright face and an alarm like a fire truck. I am willing to demonstrate this to "Oscar AM". I am sure it also would be "in the rules". It doesnt provide a late dinner or room service athough you could put a cheese roll in the box. KarloMarko
  • Score: 25

9:58am Mon 7 Jul 14

bobbajob says...

Good call Mr Fouweather, there will be a million plus public sector workers on strike this Thursday who would also agree with your opinion.
Good call Mr Fouweather, there will be a million plus public sector workers on strike this Thursday who would also agree with your opinion. bobbajob
  • Score: 26

10:58am Mon 7 Jul 14

Abertillery29 says...

Only problem is, is that this is not the only AM whos' answer is 'its in the rules'. As Councillor Fouweather points out the public have not forgotten the farce involving MPs' expenses. There should have been a lot more of MPs' of all parties sitting in a prison cell. What about Mr Blairs expenses getting 'shredded'. I'm certain his accountant or the Inland Revenue could find them if they had the will to do so.
Only problem is, is that this is not the only AM whos' answer is 'its in the rules'. As Councillor Fouweather points out the public have not forgotten the farce involving MPs' expenses. There should have been a lot more of MPs' of all parties sitting in a prison cell. What about Mr Blairs expenses getting 'shredded'. I'm certain his accountant or the Inland Revenue could find them if they had the will to do so. Abertillery29
  • Score: 16

12:36pm Mon 7 Jul 14

ianto100 says...

And they wonder why less and less people bother to vote!
And they wonder why less and less people bother to vote! ianto100
  • Score: 16

12:56pm Mon 7 Jul 14

altom23 says...

Abertillery29 wrote:
Only problem is, is that this is not the only AM whos' answer is 'its in the rules'. As Councillor Fouweather points out the public have not forgotten the farce involving MPs' expenses. There should have been a lot more of MPs' of all parties sitting in a prison cell. What about Mr Blairs expenses getting 'shredded'. I'm certain his accountant or the Inland Revenue could find them if they had the will to do so.
Quite agree
O..... by the way what Political Party is Oscar in these days??
[quote][p][bold]Abertillery29[/bold] wrote: Only problem is, is that this is not the only AM whos' answer is 'its in the rules'. As Councillor Fouweather points out the public have not forgotten the farce involving MPs' expenses. There should have been a lot more of MPs' of all parties sitting in a prison cell. What about Mr Blairs expenses getting 'shredded'. I'm certain his accountant or the Inland Revenue could find them if they had the will to do so.[/p][/quote]Quite agree O..... by the way what Political Party is Oscar in these days?? altom23
  • Score: 11

1:25pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Taffyrock says...

Just remember it's within the rules NOT to vote for him in the next election... see how he like to play by the rules then.
Just remember it's within the rules NOT to vote for him in the next election... see how he like to play by the rules then. Taffyrock
  • Score: 15

2:16pm Mon 7 Jul 14

taffygwent says...

All the electorate should remember his comments in the next elections
All the electorate should remember his comments in the next elections taffygwent
  • Score: 8

2:31pm Mon 7 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

As I have said before he is a "list" AM. Therefore its up to the Tories to dump him pre next election. Thus far Cameron etc has insisted he stays. A totally cynical move supposed to show the reformed 'diversity" of the Tories. When the Tory hierarchy get "moral" .....count the silverware.
As I have said before he is a "list" AM. Therefore its up to the Tories to dump him pre next election. Thus far Cameron etc has insisted he stays. A totally cynical move supposed to show the reformed 'diversity" of the Tories. When the Tory hierarchy get "moral" .....count the silverware. KarloMarko
  • Score: 4

4:44pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Sing up for the amber boys says...

Charge him for food expenses as well - probably worth thousands looking at him
Charge him for food expenses as well - probably worth thousands looking at him Sing up for the amber boys
  • Score: 9

4:52pm Mon 7 Jul 14

welshmen says...

taffygwent wrote:
All the electorate should remember his comments in the next elections
Wont make a lot of difference come election time, he's already got it in the bag with his culture fan base, what ever party he joins, his fan base will all vote him in....never failed up till now....
[quote][p][bold]taffygwent[/bold] wrote: All the electorate should remember his comments in the next elections[/p][/quote]Wont make a lot of difference come election time, he's already got it in the bag with his culture fan base, what ever party he joins, his fan base will all vote him in....never failed up till now.... welshmen
  • Score: 2

5:36pm Mon 7 Jul 14

gingertom says...

Jocelyn davies has a flat in cardiff instead of getting on the train to newbridge. All of them need looking into not just him.
I think all AM's should be on performance related pay and when they don't bother to answer emails which the majority are guilty of then they should go infront of a committee like margaret hodge and explain why they are not replying to constituents in wales.
Jocelyn davies has a flat in cardiff instead of getting on the train to newbridge. All of them need looking into not just him. I think all AM's should be on performance related pay and when they don't bother to answer emails which the majority are guilty of then they should go infront of a committee like margaret hodge and explain why they are not replying to constituents in wales. gingertom
  • Score: 5

5:37pm Mon 7 Jul 14

jimmysmith says...

Abertillery29 wrote:
Only problem is, is that this is not the only AM whos' answer is 'its in the rules'. As Councillor Fouweather points out the public have not forgotten the farce involving MPs' expenses. There should have been a lot more of MPs' of all parties sitting in a prison cell. What about Mr Blairs expenses getting 'shredded'. I'm certain his accountant or the Inland Revenue could find them if they had the will to do so.
well said tillery .
[quote][p][bold]Abertillery29[/bold] wrote: Only problem is, is that this is not the only AM whos' answer is 'its in the rules'. As Councillor Fouweather points out the public have not forgotten the farce involving MPs' expenses. There should have been a lot more of MPs' of all parties sitting in a prison cell. What about Mr Blairs expenses getting 'shredded'. I'm certain his accountant or the Inland Revenue could find them if they had the will to do so.[/p][/quote]well said tillery . jimmysmith
  • Score: 2

5:37pm Mon 7 Jul 14

gingertom says...

https://www.assembly
wales.org/epetition-
list-of-signatories.
htm?pet_id=1019
https://www.assembly wales.org/epetition- list-of-signatories. htm?pet_id=1019 gingertom
  • Score: 0

7:54am Tue 8 Jul 14

Julesblaina1 says...

Taffyrock wrote:
Just remember it's within the rules NOT to vote for him in the next election... see how he like to play by the rules then.
he wasnt voted in last time he got in because his then party had the most amount of votes and he was next on the list to be added. People didnt vote him in for Newport he got in as south wales east. total system is wrong
[quote][p][bold]Taffyrock[/bold] wrote: Just remember it's within the rules NOT to vote for him in the next election... see how he like to play by the rules then.[/p][/quote]he wasnt voted in last time he got in because his then party had the most amount of votes and he was next on the list to be added. People didnt vote him in for Newport he got in as south wales east. total system is wrong Julesblaina1
  • Score: 2

3:04pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Independentvoter says...

Is tory councillor fairweather telling us his party members are wrongly claiming expenses again ? Right we had better vote for someone else then. Thank you fairweather I have listened loud and clear.
Is tory councillor fairweather telling us his party members are wrongly claiming expenses again ? Right we had better vote for someone else then. Thank you fairweather I have listened loud and clear. Independentvoter
  • Score: 1

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