Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mail on Sunday: Nadine Dorries Juggles Four Homes

The worms have turned. The Mail on Sunday features Nadine's "four home" shuffle, none of these in London, plus mysterious arrangements in London. This suggests she (and Paul Dorries?) still own their B&B in Chipping Norton, next to the now disposed of Grand Designs - teetering on brink of insanity and bankruptcy project Woolstaplers Hall, eventually sold after a great struggle - yet rent a property in the same village.

Who owns the Cotswolds "timeshare" property the estranged pair rent? Not that Nadine is currently treating any property there as a parliamentary Gold Mine (Copper Mine?). But I'd be interested to know nonetheless. This really is a bit of a mess Nadine now isn't it?

And if Nadine has squared an arrangement with the Tory whip and/or Fees Office whereby the details of her main home - ownership, landlord, cost and so on - are kept schtum can she be the only one who has pulled that stunt on privacy grounds?

Iain Dale provides a fairly comprehensive Sunday Sleazers jump page, sadly let down by an absence of any link to his mate Saint Nadine's woes.

Without fear or favour Iain, without fear or favour. Given Nadine's status as Princess of the blogs and her penchant to have dashing Conservative bloggers on her arm, tongues would be wagging, if you weren't already taken that is!


Anonymous said...

With the saintly Ms Dorries 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.

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 she spends most (the majority) of her time, and quite frankly, the Costswold property is just one huge red herring.

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.

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

On a separate note last week’s Tameside Advertiser contained an article about MP’s expenses and in particular those of local MP James Purnell, in which he vigorously defended the expenses he had personally claimed.

Mr Purnell regrets the current expenses system has brought MP’s integrity into question. However he misses the point - it’s not the system (which MP’s devised) that has brought their integrity into question – it’s the way individual MP’s have abused the rules governing their expenses, sometimes spectacularly, which has sparked feelings of anger and revulsion towards MP’s from the law-abiding majority in a way not seen in living memory. This of course is a cross-party issue in so much that corruption seemingly knows no boundaries, such is the extent of the sleazy behaviour of so many.

In Mr Purnell’s case, he claims around £1,500 a month tax free for housing costs on whichever London property he has owned or rented at any one time. He is able to do this on the basis that his constituency home in Broadbottom is his main residence. One has to ask whether this is justified?

For example, Commons guidelines states that a member’s main home is generally the place where the member spends the majority of their time, that is, 183 days/nights or more each year. Has Mr Purnell has spent anything like 183 nights in his Broadbottom house in the last 12 months, in the sense that he actually slept on the premises overnight? Because if he hasn’t, his claim that his constituency house is his main residence fails, and his claim for £1,500 a month tax free allowance becomes invalid.

I suspect only Mr Purnell, his close friends, and his neighbours know the answer to that particular conundrum. I wonder whether local folk will be able to throw some light on whether Mr Purnell’s claim to spend the majority of his time in Broadbottom stands up to scrutiny?

tory boys never grow up said...

I tend to think that an MP whose main residence is neiter within commuting distance of Westminster or in their constituency is really an absentee MP and should have their salary withdrawn.

David Titchmarsh said...

If any further proof were needed that the Member of Parliament for Mid Bedfordshire is being less than open with her so called 'explanation', then the following is from her website, 22nd September 2005. It speaks for itself.

Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid Beds, and her family are to make their new home in Woburn.

“The decision was very much taken out of my hands by the kids” said Nadine. “They fell in love with the town and it didn’t matter where else we went they kept coming back to Woburn.

As any parent will know, a move is a huge thing especially 3 lively girls. It helps with the process when the children have a big say and feel they an input in to what is happening.

It also makes sense logistically. My constituency office is in Shefford and I am in the House of Commons four nights a week so it is manageable”.