Nadine Dorries and my subject access request under the Data Protection Act

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
4:21 pm and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.

Let’s begin with this recent outburst from Nadine Dorries (using an absurdly OTT claim she later reworded in a way that gave a false impression that I was issued with a caution):

For anyone who cares to know, blogger, Tim Ireland, who chooses to write blogs which are malicious, un-founded and for the most part totally untrue, has been warned by Police not to enter Bedfordshire. However, this doesn’t stop him from wasting tax payers money via freedom of information requests and then letters of complaint to the information commissioner when they don’t work. Stopping that comes next! My poor staff :( – (Nadine Dorries)

Facts are not her strong point, so I should begin by pointing out that I have not been banned from entering Bedfordshire or warned about entering Bedfordshire in anything like the way Dorries implies, she has yet to specify anything on my site that is “malicious” or “un-founded” in her view, plus my request to her office was made under the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.

Nadine Dorries didn’t think it a waste of taxpayer’s money when Iain Dale submitted a poorly defined information request to Downing Street that was honoured under the DPA, even when it completely failed to uncover the document titled “How to Get (Iain) Dale” that he and Staines alleged existed in an hilarious explosion of paranoia and self-importance. Neither did she complain when her friend and neighbour Phil Hendren submitted an FOI request to find out what had been sold in the Downing Street gift shop.

However, she seeks to portray my information request to her office as a waste of time, and even openly defies requests from the Information Commissioner’s Office that she cooperate.

There are several reasons why she might choose to do this. I offer three possibilities in this post.

1. The subject access request under the DPA would compel Dorries to reveal, among other things, all emails/letters sent to her office in my name. Dorries has made repeated claims and implications that there are hundreds of these, and that they are “vile and abusive”. The evidence I’m aware of proves otherwise (and any evidence that I am not aware of would result from someone impersonating me).

2. Below is a sample of what Dorries’ mate Dale got back from Downing Street; these are extracts from emails involving both Downing St staff and those not connected to that office, and Dale complains that “(this) detail is still lacking in some areas”. My subject access request compels Dorries to reveal any similar emails she or her staff have sent or received that mention me or my site by name. That includes emails/letters/etc. from and/or to Iain Dale, Phil Hendren, Patrick Mercer, Anne Milton, Dominic Wightman, and anybody else involved in this ongoing smear campaign. If Dorries has attempted to delete any of these after receipt of the original request (or any make any other amendment with the intention of preventing its disclosure), she risks finding herself on the wrong side of the law. Of course, Dorries may only reveal the emails she suspects I can audit (i.e. those from people supporting me), but this would greatly undermine any pretence of popular support for her position.

As you can see, she’s dug herself into another hole, and she’s been at this one so long that she’s risking a cave-in. She’s been defying the information request for so long now (well over a year) that I’ve had to issue a ‘top up’ request that ensures my request covers the period surrounding the alleged complaints to police, and the single, actual complaint to police that is on record.

Which brings us to…

3. My request also compels her to reveal any letter(s) to police about my attendance at the Flitwick hustings (including the single complaint she is reluctant to publish), as well any relevant correspondence with the organisers of that event, and key extracts from the February 2011 letter/email of resignation from Lynn Elson, which has been alleged to reference me specifically and has already been shared with another blogger (Phil Hendren) in any case.

Perhaps soon we will hear another sob story from Dorries about another mysterious door-off-the-hinges burglary that leaves no trace of damage… this time resulting in (Oh Noes!) the mysterious deletion of every reference to me that’s held in her office files and on her office computers.

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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