Nadine Dorries - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents

30.  Letter to the Commissioner from Ms Nadine Dorries MP, 1 March 2010

With regard to the latest points you have raised in your letter dated February 5th and the letters you have forwarded on to me from former neighbours, I wish to submit the following;

[Material not relevant to this inquiry.]

The last time I saw [neighbour 1] was at least a year or so ago and before that I have probably seen them both a handful of times over a period of two years.

They fail to mention the most important fact that their house did not have any view of mine and that they could not see whether I was in or not. Neither could they hear, as the house is actually on [name of road].

With regard to the other neighbours, particularly my next door neighbour who has a clear open view of my property and sees my every move in and out, I have no comment to make other than I assume he has not spoken to [name of reporter] and therefore his evidence can be considered as untainted, credible and honest.

I have been informed that the Daily Telegraph have approached residents and "aggressively" sought poor opinion of myself.

If you would like to see photographs which give a clear picture of how the properties are laid out I would be happy to provide you with the same.

To the specific points you have raised:

1. I asked my PA to make and complete the table. She simply put the 111 nights in the wrong box.

As you can see from the earlier estimate she has slipped over the box.

She completed the table from a hand-written note I gave her with the figures written in columns.

It was obviously an error as I did not have or claim for a house in the constituency until some way into 2007 and therefore could not possibly have claimed for 111 nights for 2006-07 as there was no constituency property to claim against.

2. I have no idea how many nights I spend in London as they are so few and far between. I mentioned 10 as a generous estimate. They may or may not be on nights I would normally stay in the constituency, I have no idea.

With regard to questions 3, 4 and 5a, I have explained before that as a backbench opposition MP it is absolutely impossible for me to provide you with accurate assessment of where I stay and when using my diaries and my work commitments; however, I can provide you with a pattern which I did with the recent diary print out I sent you. Any variation in numbers which has arisen has done so via my attempt to be overly specific, which as I have said is impossible and gives rise to unnecessary confusion.

I know I always sleep at home on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday—almost always on a Thursday and often on a Monday. If it is a one line whip I will work from home, or drive to the constituency during the day, especially during term time over the last year or so to drop and collect [my daughter].

5b. The journey to [name of school] from my main home was 1 hr and 30 minutes. The same time it takes my elder daughter to travel across London to work. However, due to [family circumstances], [my daughter] rarely attends school more than two days per week and when she did do she would travel from the constituency house.

[Material redacted to protect the privacy of third parties.]

6. The single green night was because I was about to start highlighting nights I spent at the constituency but realised that this would be confusing and totally wrong as I cannot be 100% sure. It is not good enough to assume knowledge.

The orange marks are the nights I spent on holiday away from both my main and constituency home. I can be certain about this and therefore felt confident in identifying those nights.

My blog is 70% fiction and 30% fact. It is written as a tool to enable my constituents to know me better and to reassure them of my commitment to Mid Bedfordshire. I rely heavily on poetic licence and frequently replace one place name/event/fact with another.

In light of the bullying onslaught of the Daily Telegraph I used my blog to its best effect in reassuring my constituents of my commitment to Mid Beds.

My commitment is absolute and is always my first consideration regardless of where I sleep at night. However, I have always been aware that should my personal domestic arrangements become the knowledge of my political opponents, they would be able to exaggerate that to good effect. Hence the reason for my blog and my need to reassure my constituents...

My dogs are looked after by myself and various family members.

On Friday last, [name of reporter] was evicted by neighbours and the decorator from the garden of my home. He was taking photographs through the windows.

For your information, as you will have seen the picture taken of the constituency home in the Daily Telegraph, I provide you with a picture taken during one of the many weeks we have been snowed in over the winter.

I have yet to understand why or what he was doing photographing my furniture, but do understand the lengths to which he is prepared to stoop.

1 March 2010

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