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Welsh Tories ask taxpayers to pick up iPod tab

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Taxpayers will be baying for blood today after the Welsh assembly published a list of its members' expenses which included two claims for iPods.

According to the Beeb, Tory leader Nick Bourne, who represents Mid and West Wales, and fellow Conservative Alun Cairns submitted the MP3 players, worth a combined £398, as 'office costs'.

Bourne also used his additional costs allowance to buy a £120 trouser press and has claimed a total of more than £5,000 over the past two years on his (presumably marble-floored) bathroom.

Music lover Cairns, who is a South West Wales Assembly Member, also claimed £250 for a Dyson vacuum cleaner bought for his office.

And it doesn’t end there, as the Tories are telly addicts too.

Monmouth Conservative AM Nick Ramsay bought his office a TV, stand and television insurance for £814.98, after spending £977.95 on a Sony LCD telly and surround-sound system in August this year.

And step forward former South Wales Tory AM Laura Ann Jones who bought a television costing more than £1,000 in January 2007. She lost her seat in the May election of that year.

A Conservative spokesman confirmed to the BBC that no one knows what became of that TV.

The assembly issued a breakdown of AM’s claims for their offices, living allowances and travel expenses today.

A Welsh Conservative spokesman said: "All of these claims are legitimate and within the rules."

However, he didn't explain how an iPod fits into an AM's working day. Presumably, they've been taking a leaf out of George Bush's picture book. ®

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