Nadine Dorries - Standards Committee Contents

Appendix 3: Letter to Kathryn Hudson from Nadine Dorries

Having read the transcript of verbal evidence from last week and following the article in yesterday's Sunday Mirror, I would like to request that the committee receive a copy of this memo in which I provide further clarification.

In my last statement I informed the committee that I am frequently reported to various authorities. I thought it worth clarifying that this has been as a result of my own campaign to reduce the upper limit at which abortion takes place from twenty four to twenty weeks.

The purpose of the reporting, on the basis of spurious claims, is to undermine my credibility and to distract and preoccupy both me and my office from the issue I have pursued since I became an MP.

Following the reporting to the police I had need to instruct a solicitor as the investigating officers would not discuss the case with me directly—even though the Standards Commissioner had investigated the very same complaint and had made no finding against me.

The bill was in fact, £67,000 not £62,000 as I quoted. The House of Commons legal services department investigated whether or not there was insurance provision available to cover the bill as it had been incurred wholly and directly as a result of my role as an MP.

I was informed via a letter from Michael Carpenter of legal services who provided me with assistance that, following his own investigations of various provisions that he thought may assist, there was no such help available and that the obligation to pay the bill was mine alone.

As a single parent with financial responsibilities for a disabled ex husband, an elderly mother and a child in full time education, I faced the possibility of bankruptcy or finding a way to pay the bill.

This is the initial impetus that drove me to undertake media work.

With regard to the Sunday Mirror.

I was informed that the Standards Commissioner was conducting an inquiry by a Mirror journalist before I had been informed by the Standards Commissioner.

Following my appearance at the committee last week, I received a call within minutes from a journalist asking me to confirm my appearance at the committee. I had not yet even reached my office in Portcullis House following the meeting.

Thirty minutes later, in a full room of MPs and journalists, I was asked to confirm my evidence to the committee, which I had left still less than an hour earlier, by another journalist during a public answer and questions session.

I then received a query from Isabel Oakshott of the Sunday Times asking the same. Today my local press have contacted me confirming they have been informed by another journalist who appears to know the findings of the report and has 'tipped them off.'

The claim by the Sunday Mirror in this week's paper that there is a 'campaign' is unknown to my office and smacks of an attempt to apply pressure to the committee based on mischievous and untrue reporting.

We have not received a single email, letter or telephone call regarding any assumed fee from ITV since November 2012. The claim made by the Sunday Mirror is wholly untrue and it would appear that the only campaign is one of their own, which is politically motivated.

I have never and would never ask any client to defer payment as I believe to do so would be construed as tax avoidance and is possibly illegal.

In the last week I have spoken to a number of MPs. Those in the 2010 intake have informed me that when they ring the registrar they are told that they do have to register payments made to their company.

MPs who have been in the House longer, such as I, were advised to register only payments drawn from the company.

However, an exceptional few, because payments to their company are regular occurrence based on a fixed term payment for non execs, disclose what is paid into their company but these MPs also are of the opinion that they do this as a voluntary measure and in doing so are 'over declaring.'

This suggests that the interpretation of the rules has been subtly altered without MPs being formally told.

If the interpretation is now that MPs are in breach of the rules if they do not declare payments made into their company as opposed to drawings from the company, many, many MPs on both sides of the House are in breach of the rules and are unaware that this is the case.

I was informed that I didn't have to register a payment but was advised to, which I could not do without being in breach of contract. On the basis of ambiguous advice and a desire to ensure that I fully comply with the rules, I sought a further layer of professional advice which, as I stated last week, informed me that a reasonable interpretation of the rules was that I had an obligation to report remuneration to myself, not payment to Averbrook.

I thank the committee for taking the time to read this late submission.

21 October 2013

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2013
Prepared 11 November 2013