MP Simon Hart has responded to national newspaper stories reporting a call to him to quit the Commons environment committee.

Mr Hart, who represents Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, is a former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and holds a paid consultancy with the organisation.

As the Western Telegraph recently reported, following a pay rise and a new role, he now earns over £30,000 a year from the Countryside Alliance.

A former Labour MP Chris Williamson, has been quoted in the Morning Star and the Daily Mirror as questioning whether Mr Hart should ‘take a wage from hunting advocates’ while he is a member of Parliament’s environment, food and rural affairs committee.

Mr Williamson, who is a previous vice president of the League Against Cruel Sports, claimed that Mr Hart had a “clear conflict of interest”.

He added: “It is highly improper in my view for Simon Hart to be sitting on this select committee when not only does he have these objectionable views, but is actually receiving a substantial sum of money to promote these views within the committee.”

Mr Hart pointed out that the claim that his role on the committee was to promote hunting was ‘just plain wrong’ and that the topic had not yet been discussed.

He added: “I am surprised that the Western Telegraph has decided to repeat a story published by the Communist newspaper, the Morning Star, in turn repeated in the Mirror.

“As a former Master of the South Pembs Hunt and CEDO oif the Countryside Alliance, my support for hunting is hardly a secret, and all the facts were put in the public domain as long ago as 2008, since when there have been two General Elections.”