Some questions for John Lyon, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

This entry was posted on
Friday, October 22nd, 2010
8:20 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.

If we’re to believe Nadine Dorries’ local hokum (i.e. about 70% of her blog being fiction), when exactly did Nadine Dorries stop misleading her constituents about where she lived?

Nadine’s fictions regarding the amount of time she spent in her constituency took root in 2005, started in earnest in 2007, and culminated in this post on her not-really-a-blog on May 2009;

I spend more nights away from my constituency home than I spend in it and I use it for the purpose of my work. I do, however, retain the right to have my daughter, or daughter’s with me depending on who is with me at the time. It may only be a second home, however, it is a home… So, to my constituents and no one else, I am sorry. My crime is that I haven’t owned up to you that I don’t always live here… – Nadine Dorries, 16 May 2009;

An investigation into the expenses claims of Nadine Dorries followed. For the purposes of clearing her for many, many thousands of pounds on her constituency home as a second home, it was very important that she convince the Commissioner for Standards that she spent the majority of her time living away from her constituency home.

So why did Nadine Dorries claim that she lived mainly in her constituency home… on the ballot paper of the May 2010 election?

(Extract from) Mid Beds Statement of Nominations (.PDF)

extract from Mid Beds nomination form for ge2010

Why did she declare via the relevant nomination papers that she lived in the constituency of Mid Bedfordshire, almost a year after apologising for lying about living in the constituency of Mid Bedfordshire (for then undefined reasons of personal security)?

Taking Dorries at her word (steady, now) and assuming personal security to be the issue; ballot papers don’t show addresses any more if the candidate chooses to instead “state the constituency in which (their) home address is situated,” but Dorries chose this option and chose to state that she lived within the constituency.

How did this measure protect Nadine Dorries from the time-travelling stalkers? How is this anything other than a deliberate lie designed to give a false impression about where she lived for entirely political purposes?

Or is this perhaps a case of Nadine Dorries claiming that she lived away from the constituency right up until sometime after January 2010, and then suddenly having a change of heart and deciding she would be better off living mainly in her constituency from early 2010 (i.e. for the duration of the election campaign)?

In any case, when were the relevant nomination papers submitted?

Further, this information was brought to the attention of the office of the Standards Commissioner on May 19, 2010. Why is there no mention of Nadine Dorries being confronted with this in the relevant report (PDF)? Just the day before, the Commissioner had written to Nadine Dorries making it clear that he believed her current main home to be in Gloucestershire:

Secondly, I am grateful for your description of your current main home in [second village in Gloucestershire]…Letter to Ms Nadine Dorries MP from the Commissioner, 18 May 2010

And what is Commissioner John Lyon’s reaction to Nadine Dorries flipping the figures on her earlier assurance that 70% of her blog was fiction and 30% fact? If she now maintains that she meant the reverse all along (30% fiction and 70% fact), doesn’t this at least vastly alter the number of conflicting claims she can discount (i.e. about where she was and when)? Also, doesn’t this flipping of figures amount to a lie to the Commissioner? The report makes clear that she had ample opportunity to correct herself.

UPDATE (25 Oct) – Over the weekend, Dorries revised her position yet again, and said; “I would also like to state that every word written on my blog is absolutely true.”

So she gets off the hook re: expenses by saying that what she published about staying in Woburn wasn’t true, and she now states that it was true. Surely this amounts to an admission that she lied to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

UPDATE (25 Oct) – John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, will not comment on his report, or any submitted evidence contradicting it. He refuses to comment on evidence submitted during his investigation that contradicts his understanding of certain crucial matters as stated in the report, and he even refuses to comment on why it was not included in his report. I am now left with no option but to refer the matter to the Standards and Privileges Committee (a bunch of MPs) who are answerable only to the House (a bunch of MPs). Not liking my chances.

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