Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant has used compensation he received from News International after his phone was hacked to buy a new bathroom he is calling Rupert.
Last year Mr Bryant accepted £30,000 from the media group owned by Rupert Murdoch as the extent of the News of the World phone hacking scandal became public knowledge.
On Tuesday evening he told a gala dinner at Cardiff’s St David’s Hotel to celebrate former Education Minister Leighton Andrews’ 10 years as AM for Rhondda: “Some people suggested I should donate the money to charity, but I didn’t want to do that.”
To laughter from the audience, he said: “I’ve spent the money on a new bathroom for my home in Porth, and I’ve called the bathroom the Rupert Room. Every time I use it I think of him.”
Mr Bryant was among 37 actors, victims of crime, other politicians and sports figures who received damages from the News of the World’s parent company. His costs were in the region of £200,000, and they were paid by Mr Murdoch’s group too.
The MP, who became one of the News of the World’s most vocal critics and was instrumental in getting the Leveson Inquiry established, said at the time his compensation was announced: “I’m proud of the fact these civil action cases forced the Metropolitan Police to reopen its investigation and forced the Government to hold the public inquiry.”
Mr Bryant, pictured, told how he contacted police in 2004 because he believed his flat had been broken into and his phone listened to “because I couldn’t understand how some pieces of information got into the public domain”.
The former Foreign Office minister said: “The worst of it is you start blaming the people who are closest to you, your family members, you think they must have been paid money or something like that.”