Plaid Cymru has today been found guilty of using public money for electioneering purposes. The House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges published its report into the misuse of the Parliamentary Communications Allowances of Plaid MPs Elfyn Llwyd, Adam Price and Hywel Williams. They had used it to pay for adverts prior to the Welsh Assembly Elections in May. The Report concluded that the advertisements constituted "campaigning, therefore breaches paragraph 6.1.1. of the Green Book" (the Parliamentary rule book). The three MPs have been told to repay to Parliament the sums claimed, which amount to thousands each. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Sir Philip Mawer, concluded that Parliamentary rules had been broken and the Report indicates this was also the view of Parliament's Director of Operations. Earlier this autumn, the Electoral Commission stated that the Plaid MPs'
advertisements should be listed in Plaid's Assembly Elections campaign returns.
I suspect this is going to be an ongoing issue for all parties, not just Plaid. It's quite clear to me that the rules governing this allowance are rather opaque. The trouble is, each time MPs are found guilty - no matter from which party - the reputation of politics in general suffers even further.