Lynn Elson: The NHS Connection
[The following is the full text of a letter sent to Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. I'll let it speak for itself.]
To: The Assistant Registrar, Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
From: Tim Ireland
Subject: Lynn Elson
Dear Sir or Madam,
In the process of investigating payments to Lynn Elson through the office of Nadine Dorries (Conservative member for Mid Bedfordshire), I had cause to email one of Elson’s former business partners, who later stated that on Feb 4th 2011 he had sent a copy of my email (along with his reply) only to the two parties concerned; Nadine Dorries and Lynn Elson.
When checking the tracking data for the relevant email, I discovered that the first recipient of this forwarded email had downloaded it using an IP address that was one of a range used to connect the NHS private data network (N3) to the public Internet.
What this means in layman’s terms is that the person who downloaded an email sent only to Lynn Elson and Nadine Dorries did so using a network reserved exclusively for staff and approved personnel authorised by the NHS.
I suspect this indicates that Lynn Elson held a staff and/or consultancy position within the NHS at the same time as working as the “right hand woman” for Nadine Dorries.
As you are no doubt aware, this raises potentially serious questions on a number of fronts, especially given this member’s long standing interest in the NHS and other health-related matters:
In accordance with Resolutions made by the House of Commons on 17 December 1985 and 28 June 1993, holders of photo-identity passes as Members’ secretaries or research assistants are in essence required to register:
Any occupation or employment for which they receive over £329 from the same source in the course of a calendar year, if that occupation or employment is in any way advantaged by the privileged access to Parliament afforded by their pass
Further, I have looked through the Register Of Interests Of Members’ Secretaries And Research Assistants, and have found no declaration of any kind for Lynn Elson under Other Relevant Gainful Occupation or Benefit.
There is also the matter of the size of the payments made to this individual though Dorries’ office (£3,450/month over many months) which would at the very least suggest that her role under this MP was full-time.
While I realise that the staff member involved has already resigned (Feb 7th 2011), she has given an obviously false excuse for doing so (she accused me of ‘intrusion’ after I published an article studying the publicly-available data about her income/business, heavily implying that I had stalked her in some way), and the relevant MP is still a serving member who should at least be asked about her awareness of Lynn Elson’s role within the NHS at the time of her ‘employment’ in the House.
(I put ‘employment’ in scare quotes mainly because Lynn Elson was paid though her company, Marketing Management Midlands Ltd, and your records show her as non-payroll staff.)
I understand it is within your remit to investigate this matter, and believe it is in the public interest that you do so.
I look forward to your reply.
UPDATE (13 May) – The Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will not be acting on this complaint. “Ms Elson is no longer working for a Member.” Pity. I thought they stood a good chance of getting at least some of our money back.
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