This entry was posted on
Monday, May 10th, 2010 at
9:49 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
As the Telegraph also make clear a week too late, Nadine Dorries was already under investigation over expenses before this post-election bombshell which the Sunday Times appear to have been sitting on for at least a fortnight; not for any £10,000 payments (and more!) paid to her close friend Lynn Elson for ‘consultation’ and pamphlets that look like this, but for expenses claims she made on the ‘second’ home that many people suspect to be her main home:
Mrs Dorries, who last week retained her Mid Bedfordshire seat, is already being investigated over claims for a “second home” where she is alleged to spend most of her time. (Telegraph)
Dorries claims her modest cottage in the Cotswolds, 55 miles from her constituency, is her main home. This means she can claim a second-home allowance for her constituency home. (Times)
A Conservative MP who claimed £60,000 in “second home” allowances tells the House of Commons that her “main home” is a tiny rented cottage in the Cotswolds, miles away from Parliament and her constituency. (Telegraph)
Last month I received numerous reports that Dorries was telling a series of lies and half-truths at her ‘unscripted’ events and local hustings. A typical half-truth, obviously designed to mislead people about the above, was that she had not taken out a mortgage at any stage (and therefore cannot have ‘flipped’ homes as most people understood/used the term). But Dorries did clearly at one stage tell her constituents that her main home was in Mid Bedfordshire while assuring the Commons Fees Office (and later the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) that her main home was “somewhere else” in the Cotswolds.
This alone could have cost Dorries her job, so you’d think she’d be careful not to make this same ‘error’ again, yes?
Erm, no. Here she is declaring an address in Mid Bedfordshire to be her main home on her nomination papers (which is also how her address would appear on the ballot paper on polling day):
(Extract from) Mid Beds Statement of Nominations (.PDF)
So once again Nadine Dorries has been caught telling press and Parliamentary authorities one thing while telling her constituents another. No wonder she took such extraordinary measures to avoid a situation where she might be recorded on camera when faced with a question about expenses; she wanted to avoid telling the truth, but she couldn’t afford to be caught on camera telling a lie.
NOTE – All candidates used to have to provide their home address for display on the ballot paper. The rules were changed recently to allow candidates more privacy while still declaring where they lived. Nadine’s usual hysterical outburst about her right/need to keep her first/second/whatever home address a secret won’t do her any good here:
Home address form – Your home address form must state your home address in full. If you do not want your address to be made public and to appear on the ballot paper, you must state the constituency in which your home address is situated. (Electoral Commission guidance for nominees; August 2009)