Nadine Dorries - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents

62.  Letter to the Commissioner from Ms Nadine Dorries MP, 6 July 2010

In answer to your letter of 28th of June, could you please explain why the witness statements from [constituency neighbour] and [Cotswold neighbour] were not included in the same document along with other documents?

1.  I did admit that I spent spare weekends and holidays away from my second home. All of my weekends are "spare" as Parliament does not sit at weekends. Therefore the statement concurs with the evidence I have given you which states that I spend week nights when Parliament is sitting at my constituency home and weekends and recess at my main home.

2.  My estimates changed because you were asking me to be specific and I could not be so. I realised it was more accurate to provide you with my pattern than attempt to identify individual nights and then discover that I had got one wrong. I was an opposition backbencher, not a minister. I depended on and was hostage to the diaries of other family members to provide you with the specifics you required which I realised was not absolute, or appropriate.[236]

3.  I did not have a constituency home in 2006. From recollection, I believe I rented the house in April 2007 and then moved in a few months later once I had furniture, cooker etc as I am sure my expenses show.[237]

4.  You have my statement and my pattern of nights. You have evidence from I believe a fair number of neighbours in addition to my own. I have nothing else to add other than on occasion, I randomly needed to go back home for domestic reasons, however, I cannot accurately say when or how often that was.

[Neighbour 1]

[Neighbour 1] clearly states in his letter of 22nd of January 2010 "Further to a recent meeting with [name of reporter] of the Daily Telegraph" and again in his letter of 18th February "when approached by the Daily Telegraph". None of the other letters I have seen from a witness states this.

If [neighbour 1] had not been approached by the Telegraph, would he have written to you? He clearly states that he was approached by the Telegraph, not the other way around. So how do we know he wasn't paid by the Telegraph?

Therefore, I believe the evidence of [neighbour 1] to have been interfered with and influenced. Frankly, given the Daily Telegraph reporting of the expenses issue, it is impossible for him not to have been, payment, direct influence, or not.

[Neighbour 1] also states in bold letters that he does not want to be a witness. No other witness states this. I believe that is because [neighbour 1] is comfortable with telling [untruths] to you in a letter, but is afraid that he may formally have to give such evidence and be challenged.

I am not going to respond in detail to his points raised not least because [neighbour 1] had a row of trees in front of the window to my house in order to deliberately obstruct the view from his property into mine. The picture showing the window behind a six foot thick hedge indicating that he could see through is laughable. He has actually sent you a photograph of his lie. Or is he admitting that he is some kind of perverse peeping Tom who regularly literally, parted the hedges to look into my window. His hedge is about three foot thick as his wife was did not want anyone from my property being able to see into theirs and one would assume, likewise.

In addition to this, I never used the dining room other than very early in the morning, long before my neighbours were up, or late at night when most are in bed.

The window he points to on the main road and describes as [neighbour 1's] kitchen window has a large table in front of it, they can only see who walks past their window as they can't stand up to it.

How on earth could he possibly know where in the house I slept?[238]

He did buy a house in France in 2008. To replace the house he sold in 2007.

I am strongly opposed to the evidence of someone who states that they do not want to be a witness and admits to having been visited and approached by the Daily Telegraph being considered.

I am aware that it is impossible for you to reasonably believe [neighbour 1] and disregard the consistent information provided by others and you may think I am over reacting to the evidence sent by [neighbour 1], however, that is not the point. I strongly object to lies being given any consideration whatsoever.

[Material redacted to protect the privacy of third parties]

As an MP, all I have to offer my constituents on whose behalf I work tirelessly when they come to see me about serious issues is my reputation. It is everything. Nothing else is as important.

If the evidence of [neighbour 1] is to be considered and have any influence whatsoever on the outcome of this enquiry, then I wish to explore my rights further with regard to the provision laid down in the standing orders and the requirement for legal presence during the committee hearing, the ability for me to make my own presentation and for an MP who is not a committee member to attend.

6 July 2010

236   Ms Dorries annotated this paragraph in manuscript as follows: "I have said this so many times already!" Back

237   Ms Dorries annotated this paragraph in manuscript as follows: "and this!" Back

238   Ms Dorries annotated this paragraph in manuscript as follows: "The curtains were almost always drawn as I usually left before it was light." Back

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