Simon Hart MP has been in the firing line this week, after claiming over £7,500 in first class rail fares.

The Member of Parliament for South Pembrokeshire and West Carmarthenshire and Parliament Secretary in the Cabinet Office, claimed £7,571 for travel in first class, whilst his staff travelled in standard class.

Details of the rail travel expenses are based on the official Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority data, the body that was set up after the expenses scandal.

Furthermore, Mr. Hart claimed £189 in standard rail fares, while £508 was also claimed in standard-class fares for his staff.

According to IPSA’s rules, MPs are allowed to claim first-class rail tickets on expenses if the price is cheaper than the standard on-the-day ‘walk-on’ fare, if pre-booked.

Since politicians generally book travel in advance, that can usually be achieved.

However, the parliamentary watchdog IPSA does ask MPs to consider value for money when booking tickets.

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for South Pembrokeshire and West Carmarthenshire, Marc Tierney, said: “Since Simon Hart has been in office, he and his government have cut the cash available to spend on our public services.

“He doesn’t think twice about cutting support for those who really need it. His voting record says it all.

“So, while local working families are struggling to get by, our MP has been travelling first class at our expense. This is frankly insulting to the people he supposedly represents, and he should apologise.”

Liberal Democrat’s Parliamentary candidate for South Pembrokeshire and West Carmarthenshire, Alistair Cameron, added: “Many will be distressed and appalled that Mr. Hart has clocked up £7,500 in first class travel expenses whilst our public services are struggling to make ends meet.

“There can be no justification for spending such a large amount of public money.”

Simon Hart declined to comment when contacted by the Observer.