A LABOUR MP who has served his constituency for 17 years has been asked to donate £5,000 towards the Conservative Party general election campaign.
Tory leader Michael Howard wrote to Martyn Jones, MP for Clwyd South, asking if he would make a financial contribution towards Conservative Party election costs as Britain gears up for next year's campaign.
'Mr Howard's letter was not even provided with a Welsh language counterpart,' said Mr Jones.
'It said: "I hope you understand the urgency and importance of extra donations at this crucial time. I hope you will give generously to both us and your local (Conservative) Association."
'It then went on to recommend a donation of up to £5,000.
'Only two weeks ago I put out a statement warning my constituents against postal scams and rip-off artists.
'Little did I think I would be a victim of this so soon at the hands of Michael Howard.
'If they cannot run their campaign without this kind of gaffe, how on earth do they expect to run the country?
'Needless to say, I will not be sending any money to the Tories, and I would urge everyone to be on their guard when the begging letter from Mr Howard drops through their letterbox.'
A spokeswoman for the Conservative Central Office said that despite the fact Mr Jones was a long-serving Labour politician, the party did not feel this was an embarrassing gaffe.
'We are not concerned at all,' she said. 'If Mr Jones is on the electoral register then he would have been selected randomly by the people distributing these letters.
'This is not an indication of a financial difficulty within the party, it is a common practice, especially in the run-up to an election and I am sure the Labour Party are doing it, too.'