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Thursday 9 May 2013

The Curse Of Dorries

[Update at end of post]

Yesterday, Tory chief whip George Young took the potentially premature decision to re-admit Mid Bedfordshire MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries to the party. He apparently took his decision after securing an apology from the fragrant Nadine, and did so unconditionally. Whether Young is a good judge of character, and of sufficiently enquiring mind, we will see.
Why the Tories should have done this before the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) investigation into the Dorries expense regime has concluded may have had something to do with the fact that, as Unity at Ministry Of Truth has revealed, Bedfordshire Tory bigwig Andy Rayment has made a significant investment in maintaining his MP’s living standards.

But, despite the IPSA cloud hovering over Dorries’ presence at Westminster, some of her colleagues were more than happy to welcome her back. There will even be a “Return Of The Prodigal Daughter” event next Monday, hosted by former leadership candidate David Davis, who may have judged the risk of association to be less than the utility to be gained by sticking two fingers up at Young Dave.

No doubt, among those enjoying the sparkling wine – paid for, one hopes and expects, from the organisers’ own pockets – will be Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, who is an unequivocal Dorries supporter. Indeed, he took to Twitter yesterday to say he was “Delighted that my friend ... has had the Conservative whip restored. The right decision for her and her constituents”.

Ms Dorries happily retweeted the sentiment. But the happy mood was broken this morning as the BBC’s Robin Brant announced that those rotten party poopers at IPSA were taking Jackson to court over the non-trivial amount of £54,000 that they assert he must repay, being the alleged profit on a second home previously the subject of mortgage payments on expenses.

How unfortunate for Jackson! And the question then enters: is this an omen for the fragrant Nadine? IPSA seems to be getting closer and closer. But she doesn’t have to pay back any money, does she? Now that’s an interesting question. And one to which I may return at some time in the near future. Stay tuned.

[UPDATE 10 May 1900 hours: Ms Dorries has rushed to defend Jackson, who she calls "honest and straight", and a "good man". The responses to her Tweet are worth a browse, showing that her concern is not shared by many others.
Sadly, the fragrant Nadine has managed to get the sum in dispute wrong, adding £2,000 to the actual amount being pursued by IPSA. Getting her facts straight does seem to be a problem for her]

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