Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nadine Dorries MP: Raving Mythomaniac, Spills Some Beans

Well I never. I expected more of a struggle. Nadine Dorries MP has owned up to "The Other Place". Heart-warming and all. But it does not, repeat does not, put her the right side of the rules. The rented come down of a home in Chipping Norton cannot be construed as a "main home" in the meaning of the rules.

Nadine is living out of a suitcase, or in her daughter (and Parliamentary Office Manager) Pippa's spare room perhaps, or in a Southern Africa holiday home, or in her constituency home, and only now and then in this so-called main home. But as I blogged last night, if only I'd succeeded in posting it at 1:00 AM!, the Telegraph were quite wrong to suggest there was only one home. As if! Now read on, in her own words:

The Other Place
Posted Saturday, 16 May 2009 at 08:29

I had hoped that I could retain some of my private life and keep it just that, private. It appears that this is now impossible.

The Telegraph has every right to ask questions and to hold politicians to account for the way they spend public money. But their reaction when I told them I would publish my response to their allegations on my blog was revealing. It appears that the general public is only entitled to hear the Telegraph’s version of the truth if they pay for a copy of the Telegraph. They also felt it necessary to phone CCHQ with veiled threats about what they could do to me in the future if I dared to post the letter they sent to me on my blog before they published their own article in today’s newspaper. I am afraid that the Telegraph doesn’t appear to get the ‘new media’. If anyone is going to publish anything about me, I will do it myself, first.

Yes I do claim for my second home in Bedfordshire using my ACA. I rent it. I never felt comfortable buying using tax payers money.

I felt it very necessary that I should commute from my constituency to London on work days with the rest of my constituents, in the cattle truck trains, in the jams and delays even though I leave early in the morning and don’t arrive home most days until gone midnight, long after my fellow morning commuters are in bed.

But, yes, I do have another home. It was where I went to after I had finished my Parliamentary and constituency work and changed into a mother and looked after my girls. I lived in my main family Cotswold home until my marriage broke down in 2007. The family home was then sold. I then rented a home in the Cotswolds where my daughter went to school and where my ex husband looked after her from Monday to Thursday during school and Parliamentary term time. He then moved out before I arrived back and spent his time with a significant other and I stayed in the home, which I paid for from my own money. Sometimes, on the very late week nights I stay in London, at my own expense.

During Parliamentary recesses, when I am not in the constituency or the Cotswolds, I take my girls abroad. The rest of the time during weekends I finished work and spent my time in the Cotswolds preparing the week’s meals for my daughter, washing and ironing school uniforms, changing sheets, checking homework, and leaving to drive back to Bedfordshire when she was in bed late on a Sunday night when I had finished packing her school and PE bag and hanging the week’s uniforms on her wardrobe door, just before my ex husband came back to take over.

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.

My daughter was due to start boarding school in September but instead she started at a school in Bedford. At the weekends we go back to the Cotswolds together, or, if I have to work such as this weekend, we stay in Bedfordshire.

During the Parliamentary term time, it is unusual for me not to have a constituency engagement.

I spend more nights away from my constituency home than I spend in it and I use it for the purpose of my work. I do, however, retain the right to have my daughter, or daughter’s with me depending on who is with me at the time. It may only be a second home, however, it is a home.

So, to my constituents and no one else, I am sorry. My crime is that I haven’t owned up to you that I don’t always live here – that I have a private life, which has not always run smoothly. I couldn’t work harder for Bedfordshire than I already do - I have given it almost every day of my life since you elected me. In politics, my constituency always comes first, but in my private life my family does. I can’t apologise for that. What sort of person would I be if I did?

By trying to protect my girls and keeping the circumstances of my marriage break up private and the arrangements for looking after my youngest daughter in the family, I realise that I am in fact arousing suspicion.

I don’t have much more to say other than the posting of this blog will humiliate my daughters, but what else can I do? I have to make sure people understand that not everyone has a life which runs to plan. It really isn’t always a wonderful life and as a mother you just have to do what you have to do.

Comment Comments so far 21

Should Nadine be forced to pay the "second home" money back? It's going to be interesting to see what the Court of Public Opinion, the Tory Kangaroo Court, and the Fees Office decide. Clearly in contravention of the rules though*. By her own admission.

* Unless "main home" can be considered the combined total of all the other places? You'd think she'd have more sympathy with them there gypsies wouldn't you?

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