Wales politics

Tory MP Simon Hart cleared of misusing Commons' envelopes

Simon Hart

A Conservative MP has been cleared of misusing Commons stationery to campaign during the council elections.

Simon Hart was accused of sending letters supporting a Conservative candidate using pre-paid Commons envelopes ahead of the 4 May poll.

The claim was made by rival Plaid Cymru candidate, councillor Jonathan Preston.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards rejected the complaint after Mr Hart explained two mailings had been confused.

Using parliamentary stationery for campaigning would have been a breach of the rules and an investigation was launched by commissioner Kathryn Hudson.

Responding to the inquiry, the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP said he sent out two letters to constituents in March and believed they had been confused.

One letter, inviting residents to a public meeting, was posted in parliamentary envelopes on 11 March.

The second, which supported the Tory council election candidate, was sent out by the local Conservative Association on 30 March using plain stationery paid for using its own Royal Mail account.

The MP also explained the two mail shots were different sizes and it would have been difficult to fold the election campaign letter into the parliamentary envelope.

The commissioner accepted Mr Hart's explanation and rejected the complaint.

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