POLITICIANS in south Pembrokeshire have claimed MP Simon Hart receiving £800 worth of hospitality from a bank which has recently shut branches in his constituency is just not cricket.

Earlier this year, Mr Hart hosted a high profile public meeting with NatWest, and local community leaders in an attempt to prevent the bank closing branches in Pembroke and Narberth.

Parliamentary Register of Members’ Financial Interests figures show that Mr Hart accepted £800 worth of tickets and hospitality to attend a test match at Lord's from the NatWest’s parent company, RBS.

Mr Hart’s trip to Lord’s to watch England V Pakistan even made the pages of satirical fortnightly magazine Private Eye.

Labour Narberth county councillor Vic Dennis, and Prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate Marc Tierney were both bowled over.

Cllr Dennis said: “I’m assured by businesses and customers that Narberth was a busy branch but our MP has failed to do what he set out to do, retain the bank and protect our most rural towns. I was horrified to learn that our MP has been accepting gifts of this nature particularly whilst this closure programme was underway.”

Mr Tierney said: “Local voters will be rightly feel betrayed by the insensitive actions of their Tory MP, who on the one hand is courting publicity for appearing to listen to local concerns, meanwhile when he is away in Westminster is accepting very generous donations from a bank who is actively acting against local interests.”

But Mr Hart played a straight bat to criticisms: “I’ve been enjoying cricket with my friend (who works for RBS not NatWest) for years and hopefully always will - he’s even played a game or two at my old club Cresselly!

"We don’t talk politics or business when a match is on. It’s too important.”