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Conservative MP didn’t move to Wales until eight months after being elected, expenses reveal

14 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Robin Millar picture by Richard Townsend (CC BY 3.0).

A Conservative MP elected to a constituency in Wales didn’t move to the country for at least eight months after being elected, according to his expenses claims.

Conservative Robin Millar was living in Newmarket, where he was a member of Suffolk County Council, when he was elected to be the MP for Aberconwy in 2019’s general election.

Millar, who was born and grew up in the neighbouring constituency of Arfon, was selected to stand after “telling Conservative members in the constituency that he was the ‘local candidate’” during the selection process, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.

On being selected, he said in a video message: “I’m from Bangor, born there, educated there, our house is in that area, so I know this place well.”

But UK Parliament expense data shows Millar only moved to his constituency the following summer.

A claim for van hire costing £116 on August 25 of 2020 is labelled “MP moving to constituency”.

The following month, he submitted two more claims for £2,005 in removal expenses, one of which is labelled “moving residence to Aberconwy”.

‘Overlooked’

Despite living in Suffolk at the dawn of devolution in 1999 and still not having moved to Wales, Millar used his first intervention at Westminster last January to say: “In the past 20 years, the people of north Wales, and the people of Aberconwy, have grown used to being overlooked and underfunded by a Cardiff-based, Labour-led Welsh Government.”

If this Parliament sits for a full five years, it means Millar’s main residence will have been outside his constituency for at least 15% of the term.

Robin Millar was contacted for comment but had not received one at the time of publishing.

Nation.Cymru previously revealed how Millar was among 13 Conservative candidates contesting Welsh seats at the last general election who didn’t live in Wales at the time.

They also included Virginia Crosbie who lived in London and was chair of the Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham Conservatives when she was elected MP for Ynys Môn constituency.

At the time, Conservative MS Nick Ramsey said his party’s candidate selection process has “fallen short”.

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