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Former MP cleared at employment tribunal

Chris Davies was taken to an employment tribunal by his former office manager Sarah Lewis who claimed her dismissal resulted from informing the Conservative Party about a forged expenses claim submitted by Mr Davies in 2015, the year he was elected.

Ms Lewis was aware of the forged expenses claim in 2016 and made the complaint to the party in autumn 2017, before she resigned from her in 2018 after a period on sick leave.

She claimed the behaviour of Mr Davies and other members of staff towards led to her resignation.

But after the tribunal panel heard from members of Mr Davies’ staff at the time, these allegations were rejected.

Mr Davies was convicted in March 2019 after he admitted submitting two false expenses invoices for nine photographs costing £700 to decorate his new office.

He was fined £1,500, ordered to pay £2,500 towards legal costs and told to carry out 50 hours of community service.

Mr Davies was then sacked as MP for Brecon and Radnorshire in June 2019 after a recall petition was signed by more than 10,000 people, triggered by his conviction for making false expenses claims.

He then lost to Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds in a subsequent by-election, the seat since won back for the Conservatives by Fay Jones last December in the 2019 General Election.

The employment tribunal was held in Cardiff in December, to decide on two allegations against Mr Davies of constructive dismissal and one complaint of public interest disclosure detriment.

All three allegations were unanimously dismissed, with the tribunal’s judgement published last week, seen by the Hereford Times sister paper County Times.

In the written judgement, Judge Sian Davies said: “The Tribunal concludes there was another reason, entirely unconnected to the whistleblowing disclosures, to explain poor working relationships between the parties.”

She added that the reason concerned the selection of a Welsh Conservatives candidate to stand for an election.

Speaking to the County Times after the judgement, Mr Davies said that although the tribunal ruled in his favour he, his family and staff were still counting the cost of the case today.

He said: “I’m very pleased the judgement has now been published publicly and each allegation against me has been dismissed.

“The last few years have been very difficult for me, my family, my staff and my former constituents.”

“It cost me the job I loved, £100,000 of my own personal finances and close to losing my sanity.

“I look forward to moving on now.”

Source: https://www.herefordtimes.com



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