Has Nadine Dorries MP not been paid for her recent media appearances?


12:12 pm - May 9th 2013

by Unity    


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Almost six months on from her all-too-public appearance on ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, Nadine Dorries still hasn’t registered her income from appearing on the show with the House of Commons authorities.

In fact, according to the most recent edition of the House of Commons Register of Members’ Interests she hasn’t declared any outside interests or earnings since June 2012, although she did register a gift in kind from Conservative Home in October 2012, which consisted of a Conference Pass, accommodation and travel for last year’s Conservative Party Conference, valued at £700.

That’s a little odd isn’t?

Between August 2011 and May 2012, the Register of Members’ Interests shows that Dorries was paid:

– £1,900 by the Daily Mail for two articles published between August October 2011,
– £5,000 by the Mail on Sunday for articles published between January and May 2012,
– £1,440 by Hat Trick Productions for an appearance on Have I got News For You in May 2012,
– £300 by The Sun for articles published in May 2012,
– £300 by H Bauer Publishing for articles published in Bella Magazine in May 2012, and
– £3,000 by Conservative Home for a writing weekly column between January and May 2012.

However, since that last set of registrations in June 2012, Dorries has registered nothing whatsoever in terms of remunerated outside interest despite appearing on ‘I’m a Celebrity…”,  continuing to write a regular weekly column for Conservative Home and signing with a showbiz agent, ASM Damage, where her profile notes an appearance on Channel 5′s ‘The Wright Stuff’ in June 2012 which has also yet to make an appearance on her register entry.

To be clear about the rules, MPs are required to update their register entry with any new registrable interests, such as payments for key work undertaken outside the House, within four weeks.

That being the case, how has Dorries managed to go almost six months without registering her payment for appearing on ‘I’m a Celebrity…’?

Her own private company?
One way in which Dorries could avoid registering payments for media work as paid employment would be to set up a service company to receive the money on her behalf and then pay it on to her as an employee of that company, or via a remunerated directorship or perhaps even in the form of shareholder’s dividend.

She would still have to declare any such payments on the register but this would at least help to avoid disclosing exactly how much she’d been paid for specific gigs and, depending on how these payments are made, she would also be able to pay a bit less tax on her outside income.

And sure enough, about a month before Dorries jetted off to the Australian jungle (3rd October 2012) records at Companies House show that Dorries was appointed as the sole director of a Staffordshire-based company called Averbrook Limited.

Averbrook Limited also has yet to make an appearance on Dorries’ register of interests.

Averbrook Limited
Now this is where it gets interesting because Averbrook Limited is not a new company at all.

It was originally set up in May 1994 by three business consultants but was then taken over in November 1995 by an Andrew James Rayment, a former teacher with a somewhat intriguing commercial history if an article which appeared in TES in June 2011 is anything to go by.

As recently as August 2010, so far as I can confirm, Rayment was also the Chairman of Mid-Bedfordshire Conservative Association. Averbrook’s financials show the company has been dormant since 2006 and that it hasn’t done any significant trading for a fair bit longer than that, with Rayment as its sole shareholder and Company Secretary, with a nominal holding of just £100, and his wife serving as its sole director.

Or at least that was the case right up until end of March 2012 when Rayment’s wife suddenly stepped down as a Director with Rayment seemingly following her out the door, at least on paper, six weeks later, at which point its registered office and the position of Company Secretary were both transferred to an accountancy firm in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

And there it sat, until early October 2012 and Dorries’s appointment as a director, in which she her occupation as  “writer/commentator/TV Radio personality” (but not MP), all of which came on the same day that the accountancy firm resigned as Company Secretary.

Why hasn’t Dorries declared it?
MPs are required to register any remunerated directorships, not matter how much remuneration they receive, and any directorships for which they are not individually remunerated but nevertheless receive payments for via another company in the same group.

There also required to register an interest in any company in which they hold at least a 15% shareholding.

So, if Dorries receives any kind of payment from Averbrook for media work that’s been routed through the company, as either an employee or as a director, or if she owns more than 15% of the shares in the company then it has to be registered with the House of Commons, which means either than she’s failed to register an interest in line with the rules or that she hasn’t received any payments from Averbrook and doesn’t own at least 15% of the company’s shares.

Which leads us back to the question of what, exactly, has happened to her appearance fee from ‘I’m a Celebrity…’?

This is all legal and above board, but nevertheless her constituents and even some members of her local association might be inclined to wonder why the MP isn’t showing more transparency.

Update: Ms Dorries has said on Twitter that she hasn’t been paid for appearing on I’m a Celebrity.


A longer version of this post is on Unity’s blog.

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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 ,Conservative Party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


1. @sam_keenan

re: Averbrook Ltd, also find it intriguing that Mr Rayment has been reappointed as a director alongside Dorries as of March this year

A Tory MP wants paying to write in a Tory Party in-house party publication. That’s all you need to know.

@lany: glass houses, pet. What’s UNITE up to?

4. Charlieman

@OP: “A longer version of this post is on Unity’s blog.”

Longer?

She’s only following the example set by Gordon Brown. He doesn’t get paid for his speeches or other non-parliamentary activity. It goes to the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, a charity.


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