Welsh MPs claimed thousands of pounds from taxpayers to learn foreign languages

(L-R) Stephen Crabb and Nia Griffith

A report published by the UK Parliament has revealed Welsh Members of Parliament have claimed thousands of pounds to learn foreign languages.

Stephen Crabb MP, who serves as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire, and Nia Griffiith MP, who serves as the Labour Member of Parliament for Llanelli, have respectively spent more than £2,000 on learning languages.

Since 2001, the House of Commons has approved funding to allow Members of Parliament to receive training, which is "in accordance with their parliamentary duties".

This training includes learning a new language or developing existing skills. The service is arranged by the Learning and Development Team and courses are run by approved training providers.

Between 2020 to 2021, data shows 15 MPs across the UK have spent funding on learning languages, which ranges from £75 to £8,244.03 - coming to a total of £33,931.13

During the 20/21 financial year, Stephen Crabb MP spent £2,329.00 on learning French. Nia Griffith MP spent £3,822.84 on learning Polish.

Ms Griffith said: "I decided to make the effort to learn Polish because I was coming across Polish residents in Llanelli who needed help, but who have difficulty with English.

"I have been able to use the Polish I have learned to help Polish constituents with many different matters, including applying for settled status and dealing with employment issues, as well as giving out information on things such as Covid vaccinations.

"Although, before becoming an MP, I taught French for many years, and have therefore been able to study Polish at home by myself, it is a very different and difficult language, and so the lessons have been very useful in making sure that I can pronounce things correctly, and use the right words to explain some complicated issues."

Stephen Crabb MP has been approached for a comment.