POOLE MP Robert Syms has defended the employment of his current and former wives after it was revealed both were on his taxpayer-funded payroll.

The Conservative MP dismissed the Daily Telegraph report as a “non-story” after it published details of Nicola Guy and Fiona Mellersh’s £30,000-a-year jobs.

Miss Guy, who Mr Syms divorced in 1999, works as the MP’s full-time PA and constituency caseworker, while Miss Mellersh worked mainly in Westminster until she was recently released.

Mr Syms – who is able to claim a staff allowance of up to £100,000 each year – said he was satisfied he had done nothing wrong and that the capability of his employees was the only thing that concerned him.

He said: “My staff work very hard, and are sometimes given a hell of a time, but do a good job.

“My only concern is that the electors in Poole are given a good service.”

Regarding the thorny issue of employing family and friends, Mr Syms said he accepted the mood of the country had changed, which was why Miss Mellersh was let go.

Miss Guy began working for Mr Syms at the time he was chosen to become the Conservative candidate for Poole in the mid-1990s.

She said there had never been an issue with their working relationship, before and after the marriage, and that all parties had “moved on”.

Tory MPs were last week urged by the party to reveal if they employed family members and how much they were paid.

Mr Syms said Miss Mellersh was considered a family member and was paid “between £20,000 and £30,000 a year”.

Miss Guy was no longer deemed a family member, added Mr Syms.

Expense claims showed Mr Syms paid £81,739 last year to employ Miss Guy, Miss Mellersh and one part-time secretary.