Nadine Dorries - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents

15.  Letter to Ms Nadine Dorries MP from the Commissioner, 2 February 2010

Thank you for your letter of 25 January responding to mine of 15 December about this complaint in respect of the identification of your main home for the purposes of your claims against the Additional Costs Allowance.

I was most grateful for this response. I will now be working through your revised diary entries and the supporting information you gave me in your letter and will be back in touch with my conclusions.

There was one immediate point, however, about which I need to ask you. In the table which I sent you with my letter of 15 December, I identified from your e-mail of 8 October that you had in 2006-07 spent 111 nights in your constituency. The information given in the table towards the end of your letter of 25 January in effect transposes this to London. You have told me that your PA, who completed the box, may have misunderstood what you said. It would be helpful if you could let me know a bit more about how such an error occurred and how you failed to notice it afterwards.

You ask about the evidence I may receive from your neighbours. Under my procedures, I am able to take evidence from witnesses. That evidence is, like all the other evidence I receive, subject to parliamentary privilege during the course of my inquiries. Once I am clear about the evidence I have received from witnesses, I normally show it to the Member and invite their comments. It is too early to say how pertinent any evidence I receive from your neighbours or other witness may be to the outcome of my inquiries.

You asked also about confidentiality. As you know, information you send me is subject to parliamentary privilege during the course of my inquiries. But it may be published once my inquiry is completed. This may be so if I decide to submit a memorandum to the Committee on Standards and Privileges when I would submit to the Committee all the relevant evidence I have received and the Committee would normally publish that with my memorandum along with their own report. I am, however, able to omit sections of the information I have received if I think it is necessary and if I think the information is not required by the Committee to assess the evidence on which I have reached my conclusion. It is also open to Members to ask the Committee not to publish with their report parts of evidence I have received.

I will be back in touch as soon as I have concluded my work on your overnight stays. I would hope then to approach the Department of Resources for their help on this inquiry. They will be given copies of all the evidence I have received to help them form their advice to me.

Thank you for your help on these matters.

2 February 2010

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2010
Prepared 21 October 2010