Friday, May 15, 2009

Nadine Responds to the Telegraph

The Telegraph is publishing yet another raft of allegations against MPs tomorrow. I suspect they will soon have reached the limit of their readers' patience.

Nadine got an email from them this afternoon and has chosen to publicly answer each question on her blog, which rather spikes the Telegraph's guns. Read what she has to say HERE.

UPDATE 11.30pm: Having read through the comments perhaps I should explain what I meant by "spiking the Telegraph's guns". I meant that she had slightly spoilt their story by publishing it, and her reaction before they did. And I do think their readers will soon tire of this constant stream of allegations. That is not to say they are wrong to print any more, but their editorial team will be very conscious that at some stage they will reach a tipping point.

UPDATE Saturday 9am: Nadine has posted again, giving more details of her living arrangements. Click HERE.


Anonymous said...

But she makes a poor show and since she is either slow or reluctant to post my comment, I'll do so here.

"There’s no point getting shirty, Nadine, with a journo. He just assumes that proves your guilt.

Your ‘explanation’ makes much of all the time you spend in the constituency and the constituency home. This, surely, must make it your primary home (the one in which you spend most time), and this would not be eligible for a second home allowance.

Holidays elsewhere and going “somewhere else” to an address your are unwilling disclose to the DT,even where they have given a guarantee not to publish simply will not do as evidence of a primary home.

You may very well be somewhere other than the constituency address but staying with a boyfriend/lover/friend/etc where you may not be liable for any expense will not do as evidence of a primary home - at least to the public, even if it may well satisfy the Fees Office.

Give it up, luv."

The recent McBride smear episode was very nasty and unfair to her but that does not give her carte blanche in other areas.

Anonymous said...

She didn't have a main home.
But claimed for the Second.

Swiss Bob said...

After my enquiry to Scotland Yard this morning I received this statement a few minutes ago:
MPS & CPS Statement re alleged misuse of expenses.

Bughunter said...

Trouble is she leaves some questions hanging in the air - who is Mr N Dorries and how did she have a reciept for him. If it was a "squeeze" she put up for a night at her expense then fair enough. She's entitled to a private life, but i bet the DT points this out.

Anonymous said...

Hardly spiking their guns. Her answers actually confirm many of the accusations and bring in some added colour. She admits to living "somewhere else" other than her constituency or London whenever she can. Her constituents are hardly going to be impressed with her commitment.
Blaming her PA for submitting receipts is passing the buck - her name, her receipts, her responsibility. Blaming friends for using her name suggests a very loose approach to the public purse.

Knut said...

They do seem to be milking it rather. They should, in my opinion, stick to real cases of corruption, not trying to make every MP look guilty.

Boo said...

Kudos to her.
While a lot of what the Telegraph has done has been worthwhile, there has been a fair bit of embelishment in the stories. Well they are in the business of selling papers, but I am concerned MPs may follow the Millwall approach.
No one likes us, and we don't care!
I mean if no one likes you no matter what you do, why be nice?
More over who in their right mind would be an MP?
You should never back someone into a corner

Jon Lishman said...

Yerse - judging by her indignant SHOUTING, it seems to me the DT might have got its facts badly wrong on this one. Wonder if they'll pull the story.

And didn't they sound pompous!

Anonymous said...

Hardly spiked!!

The detailed response merely reveals just how curious and complicated her housing arrangements are.

It does have the confidence of the Malik response I agree, but then that didn't do him much good either.

The Watcher said...

Sorry Iain, but this looks bad!

Call me Infidel said...

I hope this doesn't become a Jonathon Aitkin moment. As Bughunter points out her PA submitted a claim for a hotel room in the name of Mr N. Dorries. Which suggests there was an invoice that accompanied the claim. Or are MPs able to submit claims without evidence? I hardly think this spikes the Telegraph's guns and I think it leaves more questions unanswered.

Constantly Furious said...

I agree with you Iain - the Telegraph has just been going on too long with this now.

I think: The Telegraph is near the bottom of the barrel.I've got no time for Clare Short, but the story about her was a total non-story: she paid the over-claim back, promptly, three years ago.

Paul Halsall said...


Well you could have knocked me down with a feather, a Tory complaining about landlordism. (To be fair, James Purnell seems to have had this trouble as well).

And she does not seem to be worse than many of the others. Her responses though, do not entirely make sense and she might have been better remaining silent.

Anonymous said...

Not much use huffing and puffing , Ms. Dorries came into public life fully aware of all that it entailed. Being asked to justify claims made on the public purse is surely quite reasonable, as is the tone of the Telegraph`s enquiries.
Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Eddie 180 said...

I listened to Nadine a few weeks ago on an LBC radio show. She was speaking in defence of Jaquie Smith and her housing arrangements.

Nadine was questioned about her own housing situation, and asked if she had three homes.

Nadine would not answer in detail but I was surprised at the time when she made clear she only claimed on her house in her constituency. I was surprised because she also made clear that whilst she spent some time in London and at a third location, she spent most time at her house in the constituency. She travelled back there most evenings.

It sounded to me on hearing her interview that the constituency should have been her main home, and so would not have been valid for claims through the ACA.

In her response to the Telegraph she makes clear that she spends much of the holidays abroad.

That makes it sound even more likely that her main home in the UK is the constituency home.

I am afraid it does not look good for Nadine.

Liz said...

She'd do better to temper the old rage there - I don't think there's much (any?) tolerance for the furious indignation that Beckett, Malik et al have been trotting out in response to the claims against them. Her rebuttals aren't at all convincing without any evidence to back them up; I say this as a party member with family in her constituency. When in a hole...

(I'm also slightly disturbed that she seems to think that the Classical Brits are something to do with classical music, rather than a platform for cross-over karaoke singers.)

Alex said...

The Telegraphs letter looks well drafted, and perhaps gives some clues as to why they have spread the story over several days: sombody is perusing the data and drafting careful letters.

The response is low calibre and will spike no guns. Ms Dorries fails to demonstrate that she has a primary residence to which the constituency residence is secondary, and hence we have to conclude that there is none, so here ACA allowances should be repaid.

Dave said...

"The Telegraph is publishing yet another raft of allegations against MPs tomorrow. I suspect they will soon have reached the limit of their readers' patience."

Iain. It's not The Telegraph that is trying our patience.

Anonymous said...

No wonder her dogs are confused.

Lord Snooty said...

This stinks, Iain, I'm afraid. And her 'explanation' makes it 10 times worse.

Red Riding said...

At best, very bad judgment. At worst, fraud. She's a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Her indignation is silly. If you take out the SHOUTY CAPITALS it sounds quite reasonable, until the obfuscation about where her main residence actually was. Could be there's a reasonable explanation.

The SHOUTY CAPITALS are about as smart as Shahid Malik's response.

Anonymous said...

Dear Iain,

When you say the DT may have "reached the limit of their readers' patience" do you mean the readers' patience with the paper, in which case the simple remedy is to stop buying it, or is it the readers's patience with the stench of corruption, in which case the remedy is neither simple nor pleasant?

Bath plugs for the many, not the few said...

The problem is not just that of exhausting the readers' patience. The Telegraph have overstated their case with some of these stories, in the interests of symmetry and balance perhaps (and filling pages). I think they have caught up in the net a fair number who have no case to answer, that is they made legitimate claims within the rules that applied.

One result of this is that a few members with integrity have been tarred with the brush of greed and fraud.

Another, and a far more serious consequence, is the production of a lynch mob mentality which itself threatens to undermine democracy.

John Woodman said...

The fact that you like her doesn't mean she has good judgement.

It looks bad and I think the public will continue to be interested until politicians come up with solutions not whinges.

anonemo said...

O/T for this thread.

As promised the conservatives have now started to publish their expenses claims online.

So far there are claims from three MPs, and I can already see a problem. Why are we, the taxpayers, paying for such things as newspapers and camera memory cards, as claimed by Owen Paterson.

I do know that at least as far as the newspaper claim is concerned he is not alone in claiming for these, but that does not make it right.

What's needed is for MPs to be treated the same as the rest of us by HMRC re expenses.

Their wages should be tied to a multiple of the minimum wage, that way they would at least be dragging the rest of society with them if the award/are awarded large pay rises.;-)

Andrew Allison said...

I know she's a good friend of yours, Iain, and I like her, however, this does not look good. Her explanation poses more questions than it gives answers.

Paul Halsall said...

I agree some MPs - from all parties - seem to have acted like pigs at the trough. But the total amount concerned is just under £16 million per year for ALL the MPs together. This is a really small amount in context. About the cost of a a military helicopter perhaps?

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph is owned by those weird brothers who live in a fake castle off the coast of Sark and have every interest in seeing our elected representatives reduced in power.

The alternative to the House of Commons and Parliament is not freedom, but exclusive control by the very rich and very powerful - think of somewhere like Dubai, where thousands of workers live in block-houses while the rich live in palaces.

Raedwald said...

She's patently trying to obfuscate and confuse. Whilst it's understandable that she doesn't want to reveal too much about her personal life, if we're paying for it, she needs to explain clearly and succinctly why we have paid and why what we have paid was essential to her duties as an MP.

Anonymous said...

err, why is Nadine even in politics? She talks like a whingy housewife and actually doesn't look good for the conservatives; at all!!

She reminds me of Heather Mills. Looks, voice, attitude - everything!

Mirtha Tidville said...

if thats the best she can come up with, The Telegraph will crucify her.

Oxbridge Prat said...

Her response is pathetic, raising far more questions than it answers.

Summer said...

Ms Dorris represents my family in Parliament, and I for one am not very happy with the tone of her reply - or indeed her main stance on this matter.

She has constantly blamed the Telegraph for their action, and shriked about 'her' stolen data, and 'her' poor colleagues in parliament, and how 'she' feels. She is another one who just does not get it.

Meanwhile, outside my house at this very moment sits a neighbour's car - wheel clamped. And what was the cause of this drastic censure on this hard working man? His tax disc was a week overdue!! A consultation of the DVLA database (you know the one used to give our data away to all and sundry) would surely have revealed that my neighbour has brought a tax disc regularly for years - he is not therefore in a high risk category for defrauding the tax man. Surely a polite reminder would have been all his 'crime' warrented.

But no, instant wheel clamping, no question, no explanations, no understanding. This is how, we, the public are now treated - this is the other side of the chasm to the cosy, all expenses paid, tax dodging world of our MP's.

At least the Telegraph has asked for an explanation first - unlike the Government's representatives of my neighbour. So, until the likes of Ms Dorris understand that, they will get little sympathy from us at their 'treatment' at the hands of the Telegraph.

And I agree with others, her explanations are not completely satisfactory. Why should I pay for her 'unsatisfactory' landlord? And just who is Mr N Dorris, who sent in a bill for a room that was supposedly not used? Although mini-bars are neither here nor there - they often contain water and orange juice anyway.

Savonarola said...

Nadine is playing to her constituents.

The response is ill conceived, rambling and full of false rage.

Any half competent lawyer would have her tied and trussed inside 10 minutes.

Attack is not always best form of defence. She should take lessons on going with the flow from The Rt Hon Geoffrey Hoon

Alex said...

Not only is the response poor, but it seems she is filtering out polite comments that do not support her 100%, or should that be a million %. Joe Stalin would have been proud.

Etienne du Clé said...

I am afraid I also thought the answers she posted on her blog were shrill and ill-advised.

That the Telegraph has not written up their story with these hastily-written and not well-thought through responses doesn't make her look very good.

If anything, they appear to strengthen the allegation that she is charging SHA for what is, in reality, her main home.

You're her friend, Iain, I think you need to have a quiet word...

Anonymous said...

Nadine Dorries is as crook'd as the rest of them.

I dont believe aword of what she says.

David said...

It looks bad for Nadine - backing from Iain means you have to write a cheque on live tv the next day. Just ask Michael 'totally in the clear' Gove or Hazel 'totally genuine' Blears...

Unsworth said...

Very uncool - and very silly. She really ought to have thought twice before launching into it. Overall she's given the impression of being slightly histrionic - or certainly rattled. Not good.

I know it's sometimes difficult to resist the clamouring press, but mostly it's sensible to tell the journos to piss off.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at all sure whether the amount of "time" spent at the home is the relevant determinant for main home.

A few years ago I worked in Reading, a new work colleuge joined us. He was previously from Kent. In order not to disrupt his childrens schooling he rented and eventually bought a two bed appartment in Reading and spent Monday to Thursday night there.

The Inland Revenue accepted that his Main Residence remained in Kent. The amount of time is not the only determinant. Family circumstances appear to count as well and in his mind "Home" was in Kent not in Reading.

I'm not suggesting that I know for certain that this is the case with Nadine. Her answers were bad but they may have been borne out of anger with the journalist.

I'm wondering whether we've reached the point of Mob Rule with the Telegraph acting as Inquisitor Witchhunter. I'm all for disclosure etc and clearly at the start of this the Telegraph was acting in the public interest. Now as they drag this story over another weekend I wonder whether they're doing more damage to the country for the sake of maximising sales

Anonymous said...

"I suspect they will soon have reached the limit of their readers' patience."

No, Iain, it hasn't peaked yet. I think Nadine's reply is undignified, unprofessional and it won't do her any favours.

A touch of humility would go a long way for Nadine. The aggressive tone of her reply will only further alienate the public.

Eddie 180 said...

Now on the Telegraph site.

Anonymous said...

I think now is the time for David Cameron to pull an all time great speech out of the bag - on a par with Barack Obama's magnificent speech on race, "A more perfect union".

We need to hear from a leader who is intelligent and rational and inspring. Will that leader be David Cameron? Will he bring hope and change to the UK? Now is his time > if he grabs it.

Anonymous said...

It is my judgement that Nadine's response to the DT e-mail is insufficient for closure.

The response on the receipt is inadequate.

The "living somewhere else" explanation might well need to be justified other than to the DT!

It will be interesting to see how the DT publish the story.

As far as I am aware no other MP has published their e-mail from the DT.


Mike said...

Why does every Telegraph mention of a hotel result in a Nadine response regarding the Carlton? I very much doubt they'd like being called a hotel, and I can't see how - if she's as innocent as she claims - she knows that the Telegraph meant a Club when they said hotel.

As has been said, suffering in McBride-gate does not give Nadine a get-out-of-jail free card here, or in any other matter. It looks dodgy, she's made it worse in attempting to justify it.

On a side note, it looks like her caps lock key is malfunctioning periodically... maybe she could claim a new keyboard on expenses?

Joe Public said...

If she privately rents a flat and the landlord doesn't refund her £2,190 deposit, why should Taxpayers pay it?

Anonymous said...

Iain you know how to pick your friends.

David Davis, Hazel Blears and Nadine Dorries. Best not forget the Wintertons too.

What have they all got in common (other than you)?

Joe Public said...

I've posed the same (Why should Taxpayers pay for a deposit her landlord refuses to return?) question on her blog.

If it appears, so be it.

If it actually gets an answer, well I'll read it.

If it doesn't appear, then as Alex says @ 7:45 - we have a budding Stalin

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be thick here, but if she has a 'first home' in London somewhere, what is the problem ??

If she visits friends somewhere not in the constituency on occasional weekends, how is that different to most MPs ?

Maybe I'm being thick, but it doesn't help that the Telegraph 'paper' version isn't out which might have little 'map graphics' on the story to illustrate it.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe all the people on her blog slagging off the Telegraph. Possibly something to do with the comment moderation enabled on the site? The Telegraph's expose of the expenses scandal is the finest piece of investigative journalism seen in this country for years. Without it, we would never have known all we now know.

She is far from the worst in terms of all this, but still doesn't seem, in the words of Dave, to 'get it'. Why is it the Fees Office's job to chase up a deposit on a home she rented? Why does she, along with many other MPs, think that saying something was done 'in error' makes it right? If I claimed for things 'in error', I'd be disciplined. Why does she claim for a second home when she does not appear to have one? And if she thinks £2190 is a month's salary for an MP, even a month's net salary, then I doubt her competence to do the job.

Anonymous said...

Where is Nadine's constituency anyway ? And what the heck is she doing in South Africa ?

Anonymous said...

And...what news of that other shrill Tory, Sayeeda Warsi?

Watch this space...

Liz said...

As Eddie says, it's on the Telegraph site now. There is an adorable baby bat sucking a dummy in a picture story linked to the right of the Nadine story, so hopefully people will have their attention diverted and click on that if they're *really* feeling that the Telegraph is dragging the whole thing out insufferably. Personally, I hope they keep it up for as long as it takes.

Paul Halsall said...

She has not played this well. Phil Woolas counter-attack may have worked, but in the past two days those who have stayed quiet (like the Wintertons and Balls/Cooper) are doing better.

Shamik Das said...

The Telegraph haven't been trying my patience; I can't get enough! :)

If Nadine has been collared, and is as crooked as the rest of them, you've gotta come out and condemn her.

There can't be one rule for your mates and one rule for everyone else!

Steven Webster said...

More Tory sleaze. More Westminster sleaze. I do hope these MPs face criminal prosecutions for their grand larceny.

HarveyR said...

Iain, maybe "spiking guns" means something different to you, but Nadine has simply confirmed the Telegraph's main claim against her, namely; that she has only one home but has made expense claims for a second.

The ACA is for expenses incurred in maintaining two homes, exclusively and neccessarily to carry out her Parliamentary duties at Westminster and in her Bedford constituency. Where she goes "on free weekends" or "during the recess" or where sho goes to hospital is neither here or there. She doesn't actually have a second home.

Forgetting about not having a second home at all surely beats simply forgetting about not having a mortgage on it.

Little Black Sambo said...

The Telegraph is not exhausting my patience. I want to know everything, and am capable of making up my own mind about the relative seriousness of the various misdemeanours of our MPs. We need a Parliament cleansed of what is likely to be a large proportion of its honourable members. Nothing else will do. Then we need to make sure they do their proper work: i.e. making laws for this country, instead of leaving it to a remote institution that we can't control.

Vienna Woods said...

Nadine is one of the few MP's I admire. She's energetic and from all accounts that I have heard from her constituents, is quick to respond to their questions. I do think that the Telegraph are now "looking for anything" that will allow them to carry on and on and..... I'm fed up all ready! Nadine must be at the bottom of the pile so give it a rest journalists and go and find a real job - if you can!

nadine'sspokesperson said...

SOMETIMES I live in somewhere and SOMETIMES I live in "somewhere else", but sometimes my dogs present invoices in error to my real home, the location of which I am NOT AT LIBERTY to disclose, and your reporter should KNOW THIS!

It is all perfectly clear.

Anonymous said...

Having now seen the on-line DT copy (good use of cut and paste from Nadine's e-mail btw) I still see the problems I mentioned previously for Nadine.

The response on the receipt is inadequate.

The "living somewhere else" explanation might well need to be justified other than to the DT!

I don't see why she has to justify the "address somewhere else" to the DT: it is her alibi and she might have to "prove" it.

Isn't it perfectly reasonable to have a "second home" which one would't need if one were not an MP?

She is also renting unlike Balls and Cooper.


Anonymous said...

Bye Nadine, I wouldn't want you representing me!

Andrew Lansley represents me and I thought he was quite good, but now I am not so sure.

Anonymous said...

I also heard Nadine on Five Live threatening to sue the Telegraph. Didn't come across well at all - strident, bossy, shrill, and shouty with lots of assertion but little substantive argument.

I expect C-M-Dave to have extracted a cheque or the whip by Sunday.

Polly Toynbee's Hairdresser said...

Yes, yes but where is her Main residence?

David MacLean said...

Funny how it's suddenly "another raft" of claims, and readers will soon lose patience.

This story is still gripping news audiences your stance altered in any way because it's your friend Nadine involved?

Anonymous said...

Hang on a minute. I get ripped off by a dodgy Landlord why should my company be responsible?

Also when I submit claims it has always been me that has to produce all the relevant receipts and comprehensive details. If I fcuk up then no dosh in my pay packet at the end of the month, why does Nadine think her pay office should be running around after her? Plus she has one of those PAs to look after her courtesy of the taxpayer.

Give me strength, she still doesn't get it does she? All MPs should be made to do work experience in the real world during their ridiculously long holidays.

Anonymous said...

Not only a fraud, but a rather dim fraud at that.

Frankly I am not surprised.

Anonymous said...


As I write, I have about a hundred "adorable baby bats" in the eaves of my house, in a nursery colony that I can do nothing about. By law.

Their mothers make a daily mess of our guest bedroom window and English Nature are thrilled with the fact that we have the only Pipistrelle 45 nursery colony in the Lake District that lives in a north-facing site.

It could be worse. We could have an MP in the guest bedroom.

Nich Starling said...

I thought her rant exposed that she was declaring her homes in the wrong order. It appears her second homes is her made residence. Silly of her to implicaet herself in thsi way.

Steve H said...

I'm less interested in the expenses questions and more shocked by Nadine Dorries' dodgy command of the English language. Half the stuff she's written there you have to read two or three times to understand what point she's making.

If I were replying to a letter from a newspaper, threatening to expose me on expenses, I wouldn't reply in a style which looks like it was scribbled down in an idle moment. If you write incomprehensibly, it suggests that you don't think logically.

To quote only one of many examples, does anyone have the faintest idea what Nadine is talking about here:

“Answer to both above questions I am afraid result as a total lack of frustration towards a department which is frequently overworked and understaffed.”

Spiked their guns, my bottom! You do have this annoying tendency, Iain, to defend your pals seemingly on the basis that they're your pals rather than on the credibility of what they actually say.

Anonymous said...

Nadine should read every single one of these comments, and then think of her position.

It's a sad day - but I believe she should go!

PS. Iain, why are you so silent???

Anonymous said...

How has Crappison got away with it.
Friends at DT?

Joe Public said...

Comment of the day from a poster on RantinRab

"Politics is fun again !"

Anonymous said...

Think how much the DT are saving us by doing the first-cut forensic analysis.

I hope the DT "fisk" all 645 sets of claims.

Of course if the HoC had been properly run claims would have been randomly audited very year.

Over Martin's dead body!


Anonymous said...

Iain - your friendship, and insideriship tendencies have got the better of your judgement on this.

The Pubic is far from tiring of these revelations. They want justice, and every last stone looked under to weed out the rotton apples. Mad Nad has shown she is unsuitable for a trusted role.

javelin said...

If I was on a jury I would say it was fraud. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I would have mentally backed Ms Dorries to be one of the good ones [I have complimented her on her own blog previously] but the style and content of her "refutation" would decide me against her. It is poorly reasoned, badly written and non-sequential. It comes over not a whit better than Shahid Malik's obstreperous ranting.

Paul Halsall said...


Should stand by his friends, and perhaps give here some proof-reading and paragraphing tips.

Nadine's position seems to be that she has a rented home in her constituency which is there simply because that where she got elected. The combined other places she lives constitute her true home.

S. Weasel said...

Ow. Never post angry, Nadine. I'm sure her closing remark -- TO THINK THAT THAT YOU COULD ACCUSE ME OF BEHAVING LIKE A JOURNALIST SHOCKS ME -- sounded like a brilliant zinger in her head. In ASCII -- with or without the capslock and mangled syntax -- she sounds like a low-functioning newsgroup troll.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Just read the Telegraph (online jobbie) and they are quoting Nad`s rant word for word...hmmm looks like its her guns that have been spiked but I suspect the story of David Chaytor`s (Bury North) claim for yet another paid off mortgage will take pride of place...lucky old Nad..

Anonymous said...

crybaby - Harsh ! But fair !

Anonymous said...

Summer said.... 7.33 PM

Your nugget about your neighbours travails with the clamp man sums up the current situation beautifully.

Joe Average is completely hacked off by the fact that every person who should be working for him/her has actually been turned against them.

I've been a pretty good boy for the last 54 years but shit myself every time I see a copper, a traffic warden, get a letter from the taxman, get a phone call from the FSA.

And I don't feel I've done much wrong. Worked every day for 38 years, lucky enough never to have claimed anything from society, brought up three beautiful daughters (under my beautiful's wife's orders!).

Tell me. Why should I be worried about life? What do I owe this cabal of scum that run this country?

They should be scared of me. And, with a bit of luck and the Telegraph's help, I think the tide may just be turning.

I look forward to the day the helicopters arrive at 10 Downing Street to whisk the scum that run this country off to Vietnam!

Alex said...

Anonymous said...
"How has Crappison got away with it.
Friends at DT?"

Because although je owns 24 houses, most of which he rents out, like every other MP he is entitled to recover the costs associated with one of the properties which is not his main residence, to the extent that it is used in his role as an MP.

How come you appear to be able to read and write but can't figure that out for your self?

Martin S said...

Friday evening update, or oh, dear!

Russell said...

Iain, it must be painfully obvious to you that you've not lived up to your usual standards with this post. When it's one of your friends you close ranks and the Telegraph gets it in the neck, as if it was all the DT's fault for revealing things which many MPs would much prefer to have remained hidden.

As has been pointed out you have remained oddly silent about this. Don't you think it's time to acknowledge the criticisms which have been made about you?

The DT has done the country a great service and I hope it continues to do so. Meanwhile it's now time for you to say something which sets you on a higher moral level than your troughing, exploitative chums. Come on, redeem yourself.

Iain Dale said...

Richard, posts like your make me really angry. Time and time again this week I have praised the Telegraph for what it has done. And in this post it does not "get it in the neck". All i do is point out a self evident truth that at some stage its readers will get bored.

You say I have been oddly silent about this. Er, I was on the road driving to North Wales all day. I arrived at 5.30pm. I immediately posted about Nadine. Since then I have been speaking at a dinner here.I do apologise for not blogging during my speech!

I don't condemn Nadine because unlike you I know the full details of her living arrangements and they fully comply with the rules, as she will be making clear in a further post.

I have this week been very critical of several MPs who are friends or acquaintances of mine. If I thought Nadine had acted dishonourably I would say so. It seems to me the worst that could be thrown at her is that she should have taken personal control of submitting her expenses rather than delegate it. I've heard of worse crimes this week.

Eddie 180 said...

I think the Telegraph has a long way to go with this yet. I think they have yet to investigate most MP's and so even they do not know what still remains to be disclosed; but for as long as they are able to pull the odd case like Chaytors mortgage, or for that matter Sir Gerald Kaufman trying to claim £8,000 for a B & O TV (does that man not think £8,000 for a TV is a luxury?), then public interest will remain.

Mog said...

I have previously been a great admirer of Nadines as she seems to be one of the "normal" people in the Asylum. I am very upset at her response. It seems painfully clear that she is claiming ACA on her main residence, that is against the rules whichever way you look at it and is therefore fraudulent.

Lets see what Dave does, should be interesting. I think teh DT has been fab and should continue.

Mr Crappison interests me. He lives in Leeds and represents a constituency 14 miles from Westminster. WTF is that all about? Why have a Northern landowner represent a seat like Hertsmere? The fact that we pay all his living expenses really gets my goat. Apparently he is not too hot on doing all the Parliamentary stuff either!!

Its time for some heads to roll rather than than just write out cheques. I hope the Balls/Coopers get it in the knackers soon too, they are despicable.

Anonymous said...

Rulers without principles have no right to rule"This is a bad state of affairs. If people lack a sense of honour that guides them from doing what they should feel ashamed of, even if no one is watching, then society is in a parlous position."
(A C Grayling)

babapapa said...

I'm sorry, Iain; you might be confident that she is in the clear, but her rant on her blog does not come across at all well; in fact, she has merely made herself look more dodgy.

OK, she's a friend of yours, and it is admirable to be loyal to one's friends. But I recall that Derek Conway was also one of your "friends".

I live in a constituency with a small-ish Labour majority. I am going out 2 or 3 times a week, campaigning hard to get our Conservative candidate elected. I am merely a volunteer - I have no desire for office for myself, I just want the Conservatives to save this country from the mess that has engulfed it. While you are building up your media career, do you realise how frustrating it is for well-meaning people like me to have their efforts frustrated when local electors, understandably, feel that MPs such as Nadine are only in it for themselves.

Each to his own, but I honestly don't know what you see in her. As an aside, at Party Conference last year, I went to an entertaining evening called "Tories Got Talent". Two of the judges, yourself and Jonathan Isaby, came across well. You were both positive and witty. However, the other judge came across (to me, and the friends who were with me) as condescending and arrogant. Do you remember who that was? Yes, I am afraid it was Nadine. OK, just my personal experience, but sadly Nadine's situation has brought further embarrassment to many in the Conservative Party. It is a pity that you do not appear to realise it.

Iain Dale said...

Babapapa, I do indeed realise the damage this is doing and how demotivating it is to party workers who are tramping the streets trying to get Conservative candidates elected. Indeed, I have made that exact point in several interviews this week.

I have told Nadine exactly what I think of what she wrote but forgive me if I don't share the contents of that conversation with you. Some things remain private!

Babapapa said...

OK, Iain, I respect your position. But I'm afraid, on the evidence presented so far, that I can't share your confidence that the rules are being fully complied with. Maybe we shall see. I hope Nadine is in the clear - but she needs to explain herself more eloquently in response to the Telegraph's reasonable questions to convince me.

But thanks for letting me make the point on your blog; I am grateful for being allowed to make my view known. And be in no doubt that there are many others who feel similarly.

Anonymous said...

I read Nadine's response with great dismay. She shows poor judgement by the bucket load and I fear this will counter much of DC's good work of this week.
Her blog is also highly moderated of many critical but respectful comments.
Her ego is one we could well do without.

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

Iain, believe you've earned right to stick up for your friends when they are in trouble.

Because you've also demonstrated that you disapprove of troublesome conduct even - or rather especially - when it's committed by friends.

Anyway, be of good cheer. Clearly there is going to be some unanticipated attrition in the ranks, meaning unexpected opportunities for advancement.

Believe there's a Tory nomination out there somewhere in England's green and pleasant land with your name on it . . .

Anonymous said...

I now you like her Ian, but that doesn't excuse her.
I didn't mind her too much until she was on Question time just over a week ago. Then she told us that "Trident is not a WMD".
She's obviously not up to the job.

Tony_E said...

"I don't condemn Nadine because unlike you I know the full details of her living arrangements and they fully comply with the rules, as she will be making clear in a further post." Iain DaleThe question should be, does the Telegraph also have that information. If it does and this information totally exonerates her from any abuse of the rules, (or the spirit of the rules), then she should sue.

I am concerned that the Telegraph has tried to make sure that this has run and run, even when they know that the allegations made are not entirely accurate, relying on the fact that the public are baying for blood and ready to believe anything.

I am starting to question their motives now, and the source of the disk, as I find myself becoming bored with it all. Get to the meat, those who are really embezzling, on Sunday and be done with it.

Also, I find it astonishing that the public do not seem to want to accept the 'truth' of the situation that the SHA was designed as 'wages' under another name. The intention of this allowance was that it should be claimed in lieu of the salary that the commons was too politically scared to award itself. It was designed so that, so long as the claim was not directly fraudulent, (i.e. the address exists, it costs money to rent or mortgage and it is a second home), then it was within the rules for the MPs to raise their living standard. The green book was for us, not the politicians. The fees office interpret the rules as they were designed to operate.

Who among us, those who take an interest in politics, did not understand this?

The real offence here is flipping: the use of multiple addresses to defraud the inland revenue, and those who have committed this offence should be prosecuted. Those who claimed fraudulently for costs they did not incur should also be prosecuted. Those who merely filled their boots should be judged by their constituents on their own previous actions and they should get on with the job, the EU elections and holding the government to account.

Iain Dale said...

UPDATE: Nadine has written a further blogpost clarifying her living arrangements.

Anonymous said...

Nadine's update sounds just as bolshy and arrogant as her first post.

I think Nadine is way out of her depth and it appears that she's not a natural born politician. Perhaps this is the end of the line for her.

John said...

We had this same problem with Nadine's predecessor Jonathan Sayeed who was judged guilty of abusing his ACA and did not stand again. As one of Nadine's constituents I will say I have absolute trust in her.

Eddie 180 said...

Batteredstrat said

"Also, I find it astonishing that the public do not seem to want to accept the 'truth' of the situation that the SHA was designed as 'wages' under another name. The intention of this allowance was that it should be claimed in lieu of the salary that the commons was too politically scared to award itself. It was designed so that, so long as the claim was not directly fraudulent, (i.e. the address exists, it costs money to rent or mortgage and it is a second home), then it was within the rules for the MPs to raise their living standard. The green book was for us, not the politicians. The fees office interpret the rules as they were designed to operate."If the politicians believe that they can conspire to create smokescreens to mislead the public that they are providing a public service and are underpaid - what else will they be prepared to create smokescreens for?

The background may well be true, but it is as equally deceitful in that the House conspired to mislead the public.

If my bosses do not pay me what I think I am worth (and in this regard the public are the bosses), I can choose not to work for my bosses or I can explain to my bosses why I am worth more and hope they agree with me - what I cannot do is surreptitiously extract extra money through bogus expenses, to top up my salary to what I think I am worth.

I don't think my boss would be prepared to listen to the excuse, I only cheated on my expenses because I was worth more than you were prepared to pay me.

Whilst this may have evolved over time, any MP that chooses to avail themselves of this arrangement (exaggerated expenses)is complicit in its intention - to mislead the public.

This is not a comment on Nadine Dorries, but on the excuse that is becoming prevalent in the media from MP's

Paul Halsall said...


It is no more weird for a Leeds dweller to represent a London constituency than for (as used to be the case, especially for Tory MPs), for Home counties dwellers to represent people from all over the country.

Anonymous said...

Boo early on in the thread makes the key point. A number of the headlines do not match up with the stories. My view is that I want the truth, not the tabloidisation of the truth.

| also think all the details should be published for our benefit not dripped out for the Telegraphs. But here this is where MPs are being stupid and where Speaker Martin has hoist Parliament on its own petard.

Bath plugs is also right. irrational hysteria is encouraging a swing to the extremes (I mean as if BNP MPs would not be doing the same thing).

Strangely - whilst I feel its good this story has come out, I feel less and less respect for the Telegraph which increasingly I feel is pursuing its own agenda. Heffer is writing a slew of articles. I wonder if they are going soft on Eurosceptics?

Anonymous said...

Nadine Dorries has updated her blog and provided (some) more information as to her personal circumstances; albeit it is still far from clear whether she is justified in claiming ACA on the constituency home.

It all seems to hang on the issue of where her main home is. On the basis that she spends a considerable amount of time in the constituency (commuting back and forth with fellow workers - admirable) and she spends most of the parliamentary recess abroad, it seems she has little (by comparison) opportunity to spend days and nights at her rented Cotswold property, which she claims as her main home.

Therefore it is difficult to see how she could reasonably pass the Green Book test that her main home (the rented Costswold property) is normally the place where MP’s spends most (the majority) of their time.

On the face of it, and without anyone having details of the precise number of nights spent in each location over a 12-month period, it would seem that it is the constituency house that is her main residence, in so much she spends more time there than anywhere else.

Which would mean she is not reasonably entitled to claim the ACA on that property, despite her shrill claims to the contrary.

Unknown said...

They do seem to be milking it rather. They should, in my opinion, stick to real cases of corruption, not trying to make every MP look guilty.
Web Hosting

Steve said...

For most people, they are expected to live near where they work, and to commute. Many of them would like another home elsewhere, and those who can afford it do, but it's not something anyone would expect their employer to pay for.

The difference with MPs is that some of them can be required to work in *two* places too far apart to commute, and people are not normally expected to be able to afford two houses. If, and *only* if this is the case, then claiming for a modest second house at one of those locations is justified.

That doesn't appear to apply to Nadine's situation, as she describes it.

I'm sure it's "within the rules", but that particular line is becoming akin in the public's opinion to the Nuremberg defence.

Alex said...

Sorry Iain, but the update is not very convincing. She has taken out the capitals from her first post (read what you will into that) but the story about a house in the Coitswolds doesn't really ring true, because it is all experessed in the past. We don't want to hear a sob story about marriage break ups and family circumstances. All she has to do is say "I currently own/rent/share a ouse/flat/mansion in [county], which has been my primary residence since [date] and I am responsible for the costs of living there".

That would get her to the level of a Jacqui Smith/Balls-Cooper because it does appear that she spends most of her time, and her daughter goes to school at the address that she calls her secondary residence.

Andrew F said...

She has no excuse, and should repay the money. The puropose of the SHA is to negate the fact that MPs are required, by the nature of their work, to be in two places during the course of the working week: London and the constituency.

She's not doing that. She has no home whatsoever in London, but claims SHA on the basis that she has a home away from her constituency.

She seems to think that the tax-payer should fund her personal decision to live elsewhere. What a load of nonsense. Either live a commutable distance from your place of work or fund your own second home. It's what everyone else does.

Alex said...

LOL, 2 comments on Nadine's blog that wriggled through the net by crawling, from Faye Kinnitt and Robin Usblind!

Faye Kinnitt said:
Keep going Nadine. I am sick and tired of this Telegraph interference in the lives of politicians. This country needs more forthright MPs and fewer tiresome journalists.
Responded: Saturday, 16 May 2009

Robin Usblind said:
I to am pleased that you have published your side of things. Hopefully the Telegraph wills top this soon. You have may full support.
Responded: Saturday, 16 May 2009

Go, the whole sordid pack of you, just go. said...

This is why Nadine is unsuitable to be an MP.

On her blog she said that most MPs "live a normal, frugal existence and struggle to pay the bills".

On a salary that puts her in the richest 5% in the country (even without the dodgy expenses), over three times the income of most of her constituents, she "struggles to pay" for a "frugal existence"?

Nadine has clearly lost touch so much that she no longer knows what "normal" life is like for her constituents.

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking here for some weeks, and agree with most of your articles.
My background - for what it's worth, I'm a former labour supporter, turned tory, largely as a result of the economic mess the UK is in, and Labour's clear inability to sort it out.

The expenses shame...It seems to me that much of what we have suspected for years is more or less correct, MP's are, by and large, a bunch of utterly corrupt criminals.

The excuses that are being trotted out are totally unacceptable.
Some are out and out fraud, others are blatent fiddling.

To say they are within the rules just won't wash with me.
The rules are clear that the expense claimed must be wholly within the remit of necessary to their work.
Moats, telly's excesss food and all the other sundries are clearly NOT necessary.
These MPs KNEW that they were taking the p***...and carried on doing so regardless!

So, whether actual fraud...or blatent p*** taking, any MP responsible should go...and go NOW!
(and in some cases...go to prison!)

Your defence of Nadine Dorris is frankly a deplorable episode in an otherwise faultless blog...if there is anything that would cause me to hit the back button, this is it!

She is quite blatently as guilty as most of the rest (I *suspect* there are at least 90% of MPs either taking the p*** or commiting outright fraud)

You said:
"I suspect they will soon have reached the limit of their readers' patience."

I say, what utter tosh!
Would you have even considered writing that line if the only allegations had been against Labour MPs? I very much doubt it!

I appreciate this is a tory supporting blog (that's why I'm here!)
But (and I agree that Labour MP's seem to be the worst of the worst) this expenses fiasco stretches across ALL parties.

We need political bloggers who are not afraid to dish the dirt on ALL the fraudsters and p*** takers.
We do not need bloggers who will toady up to their mates in westminster.

Some say that if this carries on, it will bring down the whole edifice of democract.
Well in my humble opinion, the democracy we have seem over the past few decades is well overdue for being brought down!

If it takes these expenses revelations to do so...then so be it.

Next, perhaps we can move on to local councilors...there's a whole wealth of corruption to be exposed there!

And to the Telegraph (if they happen to persuse this blog) WELL DONE!
I know your circulation will have shot up on the back of this...and all kudos to you for that.
But if and when you DO reach the bottom of the barrel, can you please use some of the profits to produce a free suppliment, bringing ALL the tales of woe together.
And offer this suppliment as a freebie to enable the maximum possible coverage of the revelations of what our 'rulers' (and there was I thinking they worked for US!) do with our money?

Anonymous said...

And she doesn't seem to appreciate any post that puts together what she has said and reaches a conclusion she doesn't like, and can't seemingly defend.

I've posted essentially the same message twice to her now, which was posted on here at 12:14 today:

I'm afraid I'm with the original poster on this - it it still rather unclear as to what has precisely happened here; it all seems rather vague.

But it all seems to hang on the issue of where your main home is. On the basis that you spend a considerable amount of time in the constituency (commuting back and forth with fellow workers - admirable) and you spend most of the parliamentary recess abroad, it seems you have little (by comparison) opportunity to spend days and nights at your rented Cotswold property.

Therefore it is difficult to see how you could reasonably pass the Green Book test that your main home (the rented Costswold property) is normally the place where you spend most (the majority) of your time.

On the face of it, and without anyone having details of the precise number of nights spent in each location over a 12-month period, it would seem that it is the constituency house that is your main residence, in so much you spend more time there than anywhere else.

Which would mean you are not reasonably entitled to claim the ACA on that property, despite your shrill claims to the contrary.

Correct me if I'm wrong Nadine, but that's how it looks from analysis your own words, which to be fair, seem rather rambling and have not as yet justified your claim to the allowance.

I can only conclude that the lady protesteth too much. At the bare minimum, she should repay the money, to which she is clearly not entitled, and at worse - well that's for others to decide, but it really is a pretty squalid attempt to steal money from the public purse when all said and done.

English First said...

Ian, be very careful, you are loosing credibility!

Ms. Norries is indeed exceedingly "dodgey", just admit it!

Anonymous said...

The readers of this site prove to be pretty hideous!!!!

Craig Murray has his say said...

Nadine Dorries, Tory MP, has admitted she claimed her constituency home as her "Second home" for the purposes of claiming vast expenses. So where was her first home? In the Cotswolds, apparently.

Astonishingly, Nadine admits deliberately concealing from her constituents that she did not live either in her constituency or near Parliament.
Nadine Dorries says:

I never wanted my constituents to think that I had another prime responsibility other than Bedfordshire and Parliament; maybe I should have been more open.

How her constituents will react to being deliberately duped is an interesting question.

So what Nadine is doing is just the same as Margaret Moran is doing. Nadine is basing her claims on having two residences, one of which is neither in the constituency, nor in London. In each case, which they choose to claim on is based on which will bring in more money.

Now to Iain Dale. I already pointed out that in the case of flipping by cheap far right propagandist Michael Gove MP, Dale and other Tory bloggers suddenly had different standards to when they were dealing with identical troughing by New Labour.

Iain Dale waxed furious over the "Shamelessness" of Margaret Moran. He fumed that her second home was

100 miles from her constituency and nowhere near Westminster.

Now then, Nadine Dorries' first home is

100 miles from her constituency and nowhere near Westminster.

thus allowing her to put in huge claims on her constituency home.

So presumably Iain Dale regards Nadine Dorries as shameless, yes?
No. Because she is a Tory, and a mate of his.

I don't condemn Nadine because unlike you I know the full details of her living arrangements and they fully comply with the rules, as she will be making clear in a further post. (11.57 pm at 15 May on this comments stream).

Sickening, isn't it? What a mighty blogging champion Iain Dale is! When it comes to New Labour, the tired formula of "Within the rules" is not good eonugh. But for his Tory friends, it is a complete exculpation.

Come on Iain, please give us a full explanation of exactly why it is fine for Nadine to do her job from the Cotswolds, 100 miles from both London and her constituency, while the taxpayer funds her large, plush constituency home.

You know, I obviously got it very wrong. I should have been Ambassador in Tashkent from a main Residence in Cannes. That would have been much more comfortable.

Tory blogs had become very popular as showing opposition to a rightly very unpopular governemt. But what the stupid, stupid, stupid thousand times hypocrite Dale shows is that the Tories are just the same kind of tribal predators as New Labour, simply itching for their turn to get their snouts in the trough.

Dale's credibility as a blogger has been entirely compromised by his support for the Nadine Dorries scam. Actually, he's only a Tory version of Michael White, with a thin veneer of good nature stretched over the hard party man.

Another Tory blogger, "Dizzy Thinks", wrote a piece entitled "The Breathtaking Idiocy of Craig Murray". Note that typically of a Tory, he knows so little of the Celtic nations that he can't actually spell "Craig".

He also was attempting to defend the troughing of Tory MPs from my attack, and he decided the best way to do this was to attack me for being, as far as I can make out from his rant, a trendy environmentalist. He included this remarkable passage on his own virtues:

"I don't eat organic food, nor drive a Prius. I have a 4x4 and love battery farmed eggs because they're cheap."

Which rather makes my point about Tory bloggers. Needled into showing their true colours.

There you have it officially from Dizzy. If you support the squandering of hydrocarbons as fast as possible, and keeping hens in 8inch by 8inch cages, then you probably should indeed vote Tory. If not, don't vote Tory becuase you will be putting people like Dale and Dizzy in power.

Eddie 180 said...


I wondered if you would comment on how you see Nadine Dorries case as being different from, say, Harry Cohen, who is under investigation by the Committee for Standards as he nominated his main home as being one that was 70 miles from his constituency and London.

Whilst as a Tory I would very much like Nadine to be innocent of any wrong doing, I have trouble with her explanations so far.

It is very important for the Conservative party, and politics generally, that where wrong doing has taken place, it is corrected, and those responsible are taken to task.

Do you believe Harry Cohen followed an acceptable practice?

It appears from the Daily Mail article that Cohen also rented out a property, if true, would that be the only difference?

Can you tell us how you see Nadines case being different?

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd give your site another try Iain during this scandal....but your pro-nadine stance is groundless, predictable and sit is time to move on

skya said...

So..Nadine Dorries commented on lbc yesterday that she is concerned about the possibility of MP's 'committing suicide' because of 'McCarthy type witch-hunts against MP's' How dare she?
How many ordinary members of the public have felt the same way because of edicts by our disgusting and corrupt MP's? For shame woman, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! Stop defrauding the British public, or better still, just do us all a favour and resign.