Dorries facing Standards investigation – updated

5:01 pm - June 9th 2008

by Unity    

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I’ve already broken this development over at The Ministry, due to LibCon being offline for a while this afternoon, but I can now confirm that Nadine Dorries is being asked to give a formal response, by the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards, to the complaint lodged by Sunny a little under a month ago in regards to her apparent failure to observe parliamentary regulations relating to the content of her official website, which she appears to fund from her parliamentary allowances.

The complaint, which is being dealt with under the new Communications Allowance regulations, alleges that Dorries’s personal ‘blog’, which is incorporated into her official website and which, it appears from the home page, is/was funded using the Incidental Expenses Provision, breaches regulations governing the content of websites funded from parliamentary allowances and the use of the House Emblem, i.e. the official portcullis device.

Specifically, these regulations do not permit MPs to use either the House Emblem or their parliamentary allowances when publishing material for any the following purposes:

to promote or campaign on behalf of any person seeking election

to criticise or campaign against anyone seeking election or otherwise seek to undermine the reputation of political opponents

for the purpose of advancing perspectives or arguments with the intention of promoting the interests of any political party or organisation you support, or damaging the interests of any other such party or organisation

All of which, the complaint (and accompanying evidence) shows Dorries to have carried out repeatedly over the last few months and with little or no regard for the regulations, which have been clearly set out in guidance on the use of the Communications Allowance since April 2007.

According to the leaflet which explains the enquiry process, the fact that the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards has requested a response from Dorries indicates that he is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a preliminary enquiry and this may then lead to a full investigation if the Commissioner is not satisfied with Dorries’s response to the complaint.

Should this result in a full investigation, it will be the second occasion on which Dorries has found herself facing censure by the Standards and Privileges Committee since becoming an MP in 2005.

Sunny adds:
On the procedures, which were mailed as part of the letter, Point 9 states:

Where it appears that an allegation has sufficient substance to warrant at least a preliminary enquiry, the Commissioner will inform the Member concerned of the nature of the allegation and the evidence offered in support of it, and seek a response. He will inform the Member at the earliest stage of the particular provisions of the Code or the Guide to the Rules which is alleged to have been breached.

In other words, our complaint did have “sufficient substance” to warrant at least a preliminary enquiry. Now let’s see what Ms Dorries has to say.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,e) Briefings ,Nadine Dorries ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Will be interesting to see how this one pans out…

3. Steve B, UK


Now can we have her charged with poor “Parliamentary Standards” in her false, hysterical, idealogically-motivated campaign the claims of which must surely count as fraud?

Nice one!

Dorries’ blog from yesterday claims that her local “Labour spokesman” had made a complaint about her expenses prior to the abortion vote but that the Standards Commissioner had thrown that out. Any idea who she’s talking about?

In any case, it is fairly typical of her not to mention that another claim against her is being investigated, especially since the post is from just after midday, by which time she must have known.


The local ‘Labour spokeman’ may be David Reeves, who’s the Labour PPC for the same constituency but if it isn’t then its unlikely we’ll find out as rejected complaints aren’t generally reported.

Yes Nadine’s attack on Monday was about me – I asked the Commissioner to investigate why her travel costs were upto 12 times more than those of neighbouring MPs. My complaint was rejected in part because the assumption I made was that her second home was in London – in fact the second home she claims from the taxpayer is her constituency home.

Of interest may be the way Nadine reacted to my complaint – instead of welcoming the verdict clearing she launched into an astonishing attack on me see link:

Given the way she operates her blog as an attack site, maybe she was writing about her self when she said:

“I find his attack cheap, time wasting, grubby and sad.”

The article is worth a read, if not to judge what goes through her mind!

Thanks, David

I can verify that the above post is indeed by the real David Reeves, Labour PPC from that constituency.

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