61. Nadine Dorries MP: Schedule of
overnight stays from 1 February 2007 (Revised version)|
Nights spent at Cotswold home and at her [constituency]
On 26 June 2009, the Daily Telegraph reported
that Ms Dorries had "admitted" that she only
spends spare weekends and holidays away from her designated second
home in her constituency and that her youngest daughter and pet
dogs live at the property.
On 27 July 2009, Ms Dorries told me that she spent
approximately 150 nights per year in her constituency home and
gave no figure for the number of nights spent in her Cotswold
On 8 October 2009, Ms Dorries provided more detailed
statistics on her pattern of overnight stays. The information
relating to the period in question was:
||Cotswold home*||[Constituency] home
*Addresses in Stratford-upon-Avon from January
2007. Until January 2007, Ms Dorries' Cotswold home had been in
[a village in Gloucestershire].
+ No separate figure given for nights in London.
When she provided the figures, Ms Dorries said that
the night count was based on her office and personal diaries,
and her daughter's diary, and she said it was "as accurate
as it is possible to be". It identified considerably
fewer nights in her constituency home than the 150 given in her
evidence of 27 July 2009.
On 25 January 2010, Ms Dorries provided revised and
extended information on her pattern of overnight stays, as follows:
||Cotswold home*||[Constituency] home
|2009-10 (to 25 January 2010)
*Address in [second Gloucestershire village] from
Ms Dorries said that the revised information for
2008-09 had been based on "closer examination of my 08-09
diary" and that the figures for other years had been
revised to include nights she had spent in London. She had also
provided figures for 2009-10.
Ms Dorries' January 2010 figures suggested all the
nights she had said in October 2009 that she had spent in her
constituency in 2006-07 had in fact been spent in London. She
spent 9 fewer nights in her [constituency] home in 2007-08 than
she suggested in her October 2009 evidence, and 24 fewer nights
in 2008-09. The number of nights in her constituency home had
therefore reduced still further from her original estimate of
Ms Dorries also said in her letter of 25 January
2010 that the figure of 111 nights given in the 8 October 2009
figures for her constituency home in 2006-07 had been a clerical
error and should have been zero. She confirmed this in her letter
of 1 March 2010, and also said in that letter that in 2006-07
"there was no constituency
property to claim against".
Basis of estimate: Pattern of overnight stays
On 25 January 2010, Ms Dorries said that she did
not keep a record of where she slept and when, but knew she was
always at her Cotswold home on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
In contrast to what she had said on 8 October 2009, on 1 March
2010, Ms Dorries said it was "absolutely impossible for
me to provide you with accurate assessments of where I stay and
when using my diaries and my work commitments" but she
could provide a pattern.
The following table gives the patterns given by Ms
Dorries for her overnight stays, when the House was sitting, in
her Cotswold home and her [constituency] home in her letters of
25 January 2010, 1 March 2010 and 15 June 2010 respectively:
|Day||Letter of 25 January 2010
||Letter of 1 March 2010
||Letter of 15 June 2010
||Constituency or Cotswold*
||Constituency or Cotswold +
||Constituency or Cotswold **
||Constituency or Cotswold
# No information given.
* "Often" spent in Cotswold home.
** "Almost always" spent in Cotswold
+ Spent in Cotswold home on "the odd occasion".
The table shows that Ms Dorries spent at least 3
nights a week in her Cotswold home and at least two nights a week
in her [constituency] home, with the remaining two nights being
shared between both homes. Her evidence about the location of
her Monday nights changed between her evidence in March 2010 and
June 2010 (from "often" in the Cotswolds to "the
Ms Dorries said on 4 August 2009 that she now resided
at the constituency property "in
tandem with the Parliamentary cycle"
and that "this is
how I broadly estimate my nights".
On 15 June 2010, Ms Dorries said that her work in Parliament is
"from Monday until
the last vote on a Thursday night at 6.30pm."
She also said that she spent "the
nights Parliament sits" in her constituency
"although not every
night Parliament sits, as I have previously explained".
The typical pattern of nights which Ms Dorries has
given for the nights spent by her in her constituency home when
Parliament is sitting has been compared with the pattern of sittings
of the House over the period from 1 February 2007 to 25 January
2010. On the basis of the pattern described by Ms Dorries, this
would suggest the following approximate number of nights could
have been expected:
||Nights in constituency home
|2009-10 (to 25 January 2010)
* If allowance is made for sitting nights in October
to December 2009, when Ms Dorries said in her letter of 25 January
2010 that she was excused from late-night voting and returned
to her main home, this figure reduces to 56.
This pattern is broadly consistent with Ms Dorries'
revised evidence of 25 January 2010 for 2007-08 and 2008-09. The
domestic difficulties which Ms Dorries faced in 2006-07 (her evidence
is that she did not have the time to furnish her new constituency
property immediately) could explain why the normal pattern was
not followed in 2006-07. For 2009-10, it suggests that, before
any allowance is made for the period when she was excused late-night
voting, she would have been expected to have spent twice as many
nights in her constituency home in 2009-10 than her January estimate.
It is still considerably more than her estimate when allowance
is made for this (56 nights as against 37).
As to where she spends her weekends and recesses,
Ms Dorries has consistently said that her weekends and recesses
(apart from holidays) were spent in her Cotswold home.
Evidence from third parties
Cotswold neighbour [Stratford-upon-Avon]11
The pattern of nights given by Ms Dorries' Cotswold
neighbour in his evidence of 11 June is summarised in the table
|Day|| Cotswold neighbour's evidence of 11 June
|Monday|| Constituency or Cotswolds+
|Wednesday|| Constituency or Cotswolds +
+ Usually [constituency] home but sometimes Cotswold
The Cotswold neighbour said that he "never"
did anything over the weekend or during school holidays, and in
the summer was not needed until October.
Neighbour 1 [constituency
January, 18 February, 9 June and 24 June 2010
Immediate neighbour. [Constituency property] was
Ms Dorries' family home where she lived with her daughters and
the family pets. He believed that she spent 80% of her time there,
including weekdays, weekends and school and university breaks,
with the exception of 4 to 6 weeks during the summer recess when
some or all of them went abroad, but he "cannot possibly
quantify" the exact number of days or nights. This evidence
would suggest that Ms Dorries spent at least 5 nights a week in
her [constituency] house, including weekends and relevant recesses.
Neighbour 2 [constituency
January and 9 February 2010
Near neighbour. Only occasionally saw Ms Dorries
going in and out of house, or car parked there. Car seen there
most often on a Friday morning and occasionally during the week.
Estimated Ms Dorries' presence in [constituency home] at 15% of
the week and 10% of a year. This evidence would suggest Ms Dorries
spent up to about 1 night a week in her constituency home.
Neighbour 3 [constituency
January and 17 February 2010
Immediate neighbour. Ms Dorries was never there at
weekends, but often during the day on a Friday. Ms Dorries tended
to be there midweek, often arriving late at night. Often arrived
at house on a Monday morning, with a bag, but sometimes Tuesday.
Not there at all July to October. Does not see her often, but
when he does it was usually on a Monday morning, Friday day, or
late on a weeknight. Often brought the dog and sometimes her daughter.
Neighbour 4 [constituency
March and 19 March 2010
Near neighbour. Had "personally seen"
Ms Dorries "on a maximum of 20 occasions over the last
two years". Was "aware that she spends the weekends
and holidays elsewhere". Believed his 20 day estimate
was "reliable", but was "unable to specify
in any great detail the length of time spent by Ms Dorries on
Neighbour 5 [constituency
Near neighbour. Believed Ms Dorries stayed at constituency
house on some weekday nights. She was not around for long periods
of time including weekends, which [he] believed included recesses.
Family doctor (Cotswolds)26
Family have remained patients of his [Cotswold] practice.
Sees Ms Dorries and family either in his practice or out and about
on a regular basis. Can say "with certainty"
that their lives are very much based in and around the area. Cannot
provide numbers, but believes on the basis of personal knowledge
that it seems "very unlikely" that Ms Dorries
has spent the majority of her time in any other area since 2005.
The evidence from all but one of the witnesses from
Ms Dorries' constituency is broadly consistent with her own evidence
about her pattern of overnight stays, although most witnesses
understate Ms Dorries' overnight stays in the constituency home
compared to her own evidence. One neighbour in [the constituency]
gives different evidence suggesting she spends many more nights
in the constituency.
The evidence of the two witnesses in the Cotswolds
is broadly in line with Ms Dorries' own evidence about her overnight
stays in her home there, although her Cotswold neighbour has in
some respects a different pattern of nights in her Cotswold home
from the pattern offered by Ms Dorries.
Points to be resolved
Whether the Daily Telegraph report of 26 June
2009 is an accurate report of statements you made and, if so,
why you spoke as you did?
Why your estimates of your overnight stays changed
from July 2009 to January 2010?
Whether you consider that the pattern of your overnight
stays which you gave me on 25 January 2010, 1 March 2010 and 15
June 2010 is sufficiently consistent with the statistics you gave
me in your letter of 25 January 2010 that, subject to your answer
to point 4 below, and to confirming that your constituency home
was not available to you in 2006-07 because you could not find
the time to furnish it immediately, those figures should be accepted
as the best assessments you can make of your overnight stays in
each of the relevant years?
Why the number of nights you said on 25 January 2010
that you had spent in your constituency home in 2009-10 is much
smaller than the number predicted from your pattern of use of
that home and the sittings pattern of the House?
7 July 2010