Andy McSmith's Diary: Nadine Dorries and a mystery consultancy
Just in case David Cameron has been weighing up whether to call Nadine Dorries to offer her a place in the government, he need not bother. In a wide-ranging interview with Total Politics magazine, the wayward, Ukip-friendly Tory MP has said that she would “absolutely hate” to be a minister. That is not her only hate. Female journalists, she says, are “so vitriolic [about] other women [that] they do women politicians no favours whatsoever”.
Some other thoughts from the same brain: only “idiots” believe there will be a Conservative majority under Cameron at the next election, and the Conservatives would be “idiots” not to have Boris Johnson as their next leader.
That aside, there is a topic on which the normally garrulous Ms Dorries is quite coy, and that is whether she was paid to go on I’m a Celebrity… last year. People do not generally go on a reality show for nothing, but Ms Dorries has not recorded any such payment in the Register of Members’ Interests.
“If I haven’t registered a payment, I haven’t received one,” she once told the Daily Mirror, a reply which failed to satisfy the Labour MP John Mann, who has asked the parliamentary commissioner to investigate.
On the updated register, Ms Dorries has now declared that she is a director and shareholder of Averbrook, a company with a strange history. It was registered 19 years ago as an engineering consultancy, at the address of an accountants’ firm in Newcastle-under-Lyme. By 2011, its annual accounts recorded that it had no assets and a net worth of nil.
Nadine Dorries became a director of this worthless firm in October last year, six weeks ahead of her appearance on I’m a Celebrity… but did not declare it until Monday of last week, more than eight months later. She describes it as a “media consultancy”. It will be interesting to see the company accounts, when they are filed.
When a PR firm is not what it seems
There are no questions marks over Patrick Mercer’s entry in the register, by the way. On 28 May, he even dutifully registered receipt of £2,000 from “Alistair Andrews Communications”.
He resigned the Tory whip later that week, on discovering that “Alistair Andrews Communications” were not who they claimed to be.
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