This entry was posted on
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 at
6:20 pm and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
Below is a table of recent expenses claimed by Nadine Dorries for staffing classified as ‘Professional Services’. Previous to this, such claims have been reported as payments for “PR, research and media services” conducted by her close friend, Lynn Elson, operating under the company name Marketing Management Midlands Ltd (more), and seeing as Dorries is an often-hysterical liar likely to misinterpret if not deliberately distort any attempt to confirm/clarify this point, I’m simply going to take it was read that nothing has changed since the 2010 election.
1. Note the total; £17,625 over 6 months. This far exceeds any similar expenditure from any MP I’m aware of. The challenge is on; can anyone find any MP who spends as much on PR as Dorries apparently does?
2. Again on the total of £17,625 over 6 months; some people are lucky to earn this amount of money in a year, never mind 6 months. Does this company do any substantial marketing work for anybody else? Assuming that Lynn Elson is still the sole worker/director in this PR company and all this money is going though her two-bit operation, does she need to?
3. Judging by the abbreviated accounts for the years prior to these claims, Lynn Elson’s company Marketing Management Midlands Ltd (Companies House Number: 03827061) really doesn’t do much business at all. In fact, I would think it is fair to ask if the business could exist/survive at all without regular payments from Nadine Dorries:
4. Lynn Elson of Marketing Management Midlands Ltd certainly doesn’t feel the need to advertise her services with a website, which most providers of this type of service would regard to be a minimum requirement.
5. Marketing Management Midlands Ltd also appears to be run from a residential property. I would be more precise with the details, but I am currently hampered by Nadine’s propensity to fly off the handle about things like this. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue at all if Dorries was paying these large amounts of money to a professional firm with proper offices, instead of a close friend making calls from her kitchen.
6. The first of the 5 payments of £3,525.00 is dated 11/05/2010, but Dorries was not an MP during the election that took place that month (i.e. she was a candidate from 06/04/2010 to 06/05/2010). Is this payment for services before the election, during the election, or in the 5 days after the election? Yes, I realise incumbents often continue to serve their constituents as best they can while officially classified as candidates, but if this expense arose from marketing, promotion or even research during the election period, there are some serious questions to be asked about how appropriate this claim is.
7. Prior to a belated complaint to police about my attendance at a public meeting, Dorries does not appear to have made a formal report to police about my conduct, and instead has repeatedly attempted to portray me as a stalker and danger to others in an ongoing trial-by-media. This process has involved several carefully coordinated media leaks, releases and appearances. How much of Nadine’s marketing/PR expenditure relates to this ongoing smear campaign, and if there is any expenditure of this type, is it right that the taxpayer should foot the bill for this all-too-personal vendetta of hers?
8. A similar question arises about expenses claims themselves. In late 2010, Dorries was forced to go on a PR blitz when it was revealed that she had lied to her constituents about her living arrangements. How much of this expenses claim relates to her attempts to stave off public criticism following the Commissioner’s report into her previous expenses claims?
UPDATE (6:30pm) – I have now confirmed that this expense was claimed/classified as “Research and media services”. At present, because the receipts have not been published, it is not certain that Dorries is still making these payments to her close friend Lynn Elson, or to/through an alternative provider. Perhaps someone would care to ask her. If I do, she’ll just use that as an excuse to go off her nut again.
UPDATE (6:45pm) – Confirmed: the address Lynn Elson’s company is registered under is also her residential address. I certainly won’t publish/publicise it, though. Not only would Dorries have kittens, but I’m not a total cloaca like some of Dorries’ supporters who use sensitive data like this carelessly and/or as a method of intimidation (see: Iain Dale and Phil Hendren).
By Lanky February 3, 2011 - 10:48 pm
I don't think your point 3 is proved by the abbreviated accounts. MMM Ltd could have lots of income, and lots of expenses, but not much in the way of assets, and that could be just a result of the way they operate. It looks to me as if they made a loss of two grand in 2010, which could mean salaries or dividends were paid despite a drop in income.
It certainly could be true that MMM Ltd didn't do much business in 2009 and 2010, but the accounts as shown don't prove it.
It's only minor point, and doesn't take anything away from the rest of your post, but I thought it was worth making the point in case some hypothetical ill-wisher tried to use that against you.
Good luck with everything!
By Tim_Ireland February 3, 2011 - 11:49 pm
I did try to make it clear this data was suggestive and not conclusive, but thanks for taking the time to spell it out.
By @Rolo_Tamasi February 4, 2011 - 1:36 am
Do you have the Notes that are referenced? They can be very revealing.
I agree with Lanky's comments however it is possible to do some wild speculation:-
For example, was 2008 a start-up?
By @Rolo_Tamasi February 4, 2011 - 1:36 am
If operating on a credit, not cash, basis Debtors normally will be at least the last month outstanding on the day of the accounts. For the type of business I envisage it could be 2 months but I wouldn’t expect more. So if the business has a constant monthly profile (big assumption of course) we can make a wild guess that the monthly turnover might be between £3,500 and £7,000. It could be more.
Even more speculatively the creditor figure if this represents mainly salary it would tend to indicate a turnover close to the upper end as it is unlikely more than one month’s earnings would be outstanding. This would include low level operating expenses but could be skewed significantly by some unusual balance or transaction just before the year-end. Although there are no tangible assets so no purchase of equipment.
Totally sticking my neck out I would say this is consistent with the turnover of the business being about 50% Dorries.
By @mjmilan February 4, 2011 - 12:38 pm
Can public relations work really be classed as being wholly concerned with her role as an MP? I would have thought this is more concerned with self promotion in terms keeping her as an MP, which is by no means the same thing…
By rwendland February 4, 2011 - 3:47 pm
Unity said on LC that Marketing Management Midlands Ltd was charging VAT on an invoice of July 2007 ( £9987.50 (£8500+VAT) ). The VAT registration threshold was £67k/year back then, which would strongly suggest MMM Ltd turnover was above that level in 2007.
You can stay registered below that level, but there is a strong financial incentive not to be registered for a services company with non-VAT registered clients (such as MPs I think), as your services are cheaper to them.
If you can see a VAT number on any disclosed invoices, it would be interesting to run a validity check to see if MMM Ltd is still registered:
By steve howard February 4, 2011 - 8:37 pm
I am concerned that the said MP who wasnt an MP at one point was still able to claim such expenses and if so as they were for marketing purposes then could/may have been used as part of her election expenses. In which case they would have been declared????
If she actually didnt declare this money and with this money went over the allowed ammount it would create a by-election wouldnt it?
I'm naive on these matters.
By Tim_Ireland February 4, 2011 - 9:55 pm
There are some unknowns here. Dorries could really help her situation by offering an honest and logical explanation… assuming she has nothing to hide, of course.
By charlesbarry February 5, 2011 - 11:45 am
Tim, while that abbreviated balance sheet is interesting, it is totally useless for a proper analysis of the business. At the very least, the full version incorporating net profit and shareholder equity should be examined. Even more interesting would be to examine the cashflow statement and the Profit and Loss account.
By Tim_Ireland February 5, 2011 - 1:30 pm
Again, I am happy to reiterate that some elements are suggestive and not conclusive. I'd also be delighted to hear from Lynn Elson about any of this, but fear how any attempt to contact her would be distorted by Dorries for reasons I can't even afford to spell out.
By madaxeman February 6, 2011 - 1:27 pm
Bedfordshire On Sunday (Nadine's local rag) have done an interesting piece about her exes… Perhaps you should present your findings so far to them, and let them validate them. Couldn't hurt!
By Tim_Ireland February 6, 2011 - 1:49 pm
No way. I trust editor Chris Gill about as far as I could throw him.
By Andrew February 6, 2011 - 3:44 pm
I concur. BOS is not to be trusted. I handed them a story that needed a little research only to find they wanted to publish something quickly and had their own agenda. A few years back this paper would have torn Dorries to pieces, but now, it's just a shadow of it's former self. Like always I will drop them another letter.
By Lanky February 7, 2011 - 7:23 pm
A quick look at Companies House shows the company was set up in 1999, and has only filed abbreviated accounts since then. One of the criteria for filing abbreviated accounts is having a turnover less than £5m, and it's not unusual for companies to file them if they can.
One of the directors resigned in 2005 though – I don't know if that's significant. If I wasn't at work, I'd be tempted to pay the £1 a document and look at the full list of members in 2004 and 2005, as well as finding out the name of the director who resigned.
By Tim_Ireland February 7, 2011 - 7:32 pm
Save your money. I know who it is, but this information appears to be of no consequence at present.