Sunday 9 May 2010

Nadine Dorries challenged in first expenses row of new Parliament

The Sunday Times reports that hopes of confining controversy about expenses claims to the last Parliament are already being dashed:

Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP, faces the first expenses complaint of the new parliament after a row about a £10,000 claim she paid to a friend’s company.

Her former Commons researcher, Peter Hand, is writing to John Lyon, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, questioning whether the claim can be justified.

The paper reports that the 2007 report "does not appear to be professionally produced" despite the £10,000 claim, contrasting its scope and presentation with the previous year's report.

However, the MP suggests her researcher may not have been aware of the report to constituents because "a lot of stuff" was kept from him:

Hand, who now works for the charity Mencap, said: “The 2006 report was posted on her website and I was closely involved in its production. “I was never aware a report was produced in 2007 and never saw one. Even if there was this leaflet, I don’t understand how the costs could be so high.”

Dorries said: “I’ve done an annual report every year since I’ve been an MP. We did keep a lot of stuff from Peter.”

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