The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Ampthill Surgeries Parking Debate
Posted Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 13:17

Yesterday I called a debate in Parliament to highlight the urgent problem of parking around the GP surgeries in Ampthill.

With more NHS staff working in Ampthill, and more houses in the town and wider region, parking around the surgeries has become very difficult. Cars mounting the pavements pose serious dangers to pedestrians and there has already been one minor crash.

Every time I go to see my doctor in Ampthill I am reminded that this serious situation is getting worse and I want to act before somebody gets hurt. I will not let civil servants pass the buck until a preventable accident forces them to do something. The GP surgeries in Ampthill need improved parking facilities so that our healthcare system does not force patients to sacrifice their safety.

To demonstrate the strength of feeling locally, I presented the Minister with a petition I raised in the surgeries that contains the signatures of several thousand concerned residents.

I also wanted to offer potential solutions, such as NHS England releasing some of the Section 106 money received from housing developers for precisely this kind of infrastructure upgrade.

During the debate Alistair Burt, MP for North-East Bedfordshire and Minister at the Department for Health, announced that NHS England has pledged to meet 25% of the costs of any upgrade, in addition to the potential S106 money.

I will now work with the local practices to prepare a bid to access some of the £750 million primary care infrastructure fund and will chair a joint meeting between NHS England, Ministers, the practice managers and other stakeholders in order to reach a solution acceptable to Ampthill residents and patients.

Goodbye Nirah
Posted Thursday, 25 June 2015 at 14:13

We have today had news of the last death throes of the Nirah project. I've said repeatedly for the past ten years that the whole thing was a scam and a huge amount of taxpayer’s money was wasted on this white elephant.

Thankfully Central Bedfordshire Council is an efficient and well-run exemplar of how to handle our council tax when compared to its bungling predecessor that got sucked into this confidence trick in the first place, all those years ago.

If we look to the future now, instead of dwelling on past incompetence, then the latest news means that there is a prime piece of brown-field development land near Stewartby that can be used to provide the area with either jobs or much needed homes.

I trust plans for the intelligent use of this land will now be brought forward with all due haste.

Posted Tuesday, 28 April 2015 at 16:18

It was such a pleasure to be invited to formally open the new Centrality building in Meppershall last week. A big 'well done' to Mike and his team and I hope the growth will continue!

This is another example of how business is booming in Mid-Beds, creating wealth and providing jobs.
National Stalking Awareness Week
Posted Wednesday, 22 April 2015 at 12:13

Given that it is NSAW, I thought I should try and answer in this blog-post a frequently asked question and to highlight, during this important week, a few aspects of stalking that many fail to comprehend.

As this is an election period I am restrained by law. My own stalker has left his family behind in Surrey and moved across three counties to live in my constituency and actively campaign against me.

I can only quote the facts, not my opinion, or detail any emotional content or impact. 
My experience of being stalked by him has already been detailed in the Mail On Sunday, the Beds Times & Citizen and the Telegraph.

The question I am asked most often is “Why isn't your stalker in prison?” There are two reasons for this:

This article in the
Independent on Sunday last weekend helps a little when it comes to explaining the first. Only one percent of all stalking cases are prosecuted. The CPS has called upon all prosecutors to undergo training in implementing the new anti-stalking legislation that was introduced in Dec 2012.

For the second reason it is necessary to explain, using facts only, examples of the stalking methods used on me and others. If you read how my stalker behaves and orchestrates others you will immediately see that he is an expert when it comes to avoiding prosecution, often by using others to harass his targets. That is one reason why it is so difficult to obtain a prosecution.

Here are ten examples that demonstrate his Modus operandi.

1.   A constituent in Mid-Beds once innocently mentioned on Twitter how she had seen me out delivering leaflets in her street. She was immediately targeted by my stalker. He didn't know her but subjected her to cyber-abuse and bullying. If she hadn't been as strong a person as she was he could have seriously frightened and upset her.

2.  My stalker bombarded a member of my team with emails of a very personal nature. One alarmed her so much that she forwarded it to her husband, who is a doctor working for the NHS.

It was an email in which the stalker revealed he had been “researching her” and he boasted about contacting people she had worked with more than twenty years previously in order to obtain personal information about her. 
He provided examples of everyday information he had gathered from her distant past. He terrified her. She handed in her notice that day and left.

My stalker then wrote a blog stating that she moonlighted in the NHS while working for me, which was not true. The reality is that he had put a tracer on her email that showed him where it had been forwarded to. He saw that it had been opened by an NHS computer and drawn the wrong conclusion.

3.   Three years ago, a young Labour Party activist who was at school with my daughter was asked by the girlfriend of my stalker to find out personal information about my daughter from her teachers and friends and to pass it back to her. 
The woman wanted grades, behaviour, movements and any other information he could extract from conversations with my daughter’s teachers. The young man later left the Labour Party and nine months ago he interned with me briefly in Westminster.

I only discovered this information last year and, had I known earlier, the outcome may have been very different. My stalker’s girlfriend had crossed a serious line but the police said the legal time frame of six months in which they could have acted had passed.

4.  My stalker also obtained the telephone number of a young BBC researcher working on a television programme I had appeared on. He began to harass her on the phone and on Twitter. I was informed about this by a well-known presenter of the show who was deeply concerned. He asked me for information to help the BBC deal with my stalker and his behaviour towards the young researcher.

5.   In a parliamentary debate, I mentioned a professor at Bedfordshire University. My stalker then began frequently contacting the professor’s research assistant, who had just had a baby. He repeatedly demanded to see her research work even though he had no reason or right to. The professor rang me from China, where he was presenting a lecture, to voice his concern.

6.   The former group editor of the Bedfordshire on Sunday newspaper had to telephone my stalker and warn him to stop harassing his journalists. My stalker had demanded that the newspaper print stories about me, which he fabricated and dictated to them. When the newspaper editor refused my stalker began harassing the editor. In the words of one of the journalists: ‘These are stories which fall to dust in our hands the moment we investigate. He is fixated with you.’

7.   The LBC broadcaster Iain Dale, who is also a friend of mine, occasionally mentioned me on his very successful blog. My stalker began to cyber-abuse and harass him, followed up with aggressive personal phone calls. This included telephoning him forty times in twenty minutes. The police admit they dropped the ball on that one and, if the legal time limit hadn’t passed, they could have had him in court.

8.    Last year I received an email from a constituent informing me that my stalker had moved across the country and was living in a house not far from my own. The email said that my stalker had lost his wife, his family and his home.

He had called a meeting in a pub with what were described as “like-minded people” he had met on the internet. One was Richard Bartholomew, a well-known accomplice of my stalker. He presented the meeting with what appeared to be copies of my bank statements, contracts and personal financial transactions. Again, my stalker uses others for the more risky elements of his stalking. The person who sent the email about this wrote: “
please confirm receipt of this email so I know you are aware of any potential dangers posed by [the stalker] and can put my own mind at rest for now.”

9.   A pregnant journalist re-tweeted a message I had posted on Twitter. She then opened an email my stalker sent her. It contained software that gave him access to her computer.

He then he bombarded her with aggressive telephone calls on her mobile phone and read to her emails she had had sent, letting her know that he could see what she was writing on her computer. This terrified her. She begged him to stop because she was pregnant. He told her she was using her baby as a human shield. She went to into premature labour.

10.  My stalker turned up at a constituency hustings in 2010 and disrupted the entire meeting, forcing me to leave.

I could continue for thousands of words, highlighting one example after another. 
My stalker does not directly deny all of the above but instead uses his girlfriend to accuse me of “defaming” them both, or uses other tactics to obfuscate reality.

My stalker has been investigated for more than a decade by at least four police forces, who have gathered witness statements from scores of people, including victims whose stories I have not included here.

Following on from the Mail on Sunday article, I was contacted by a number of his victims. One had been targeted for no other reason that he was a Roman Catholic living in the same village as my stalker.

He wrote: ‘When my wife and I read your article in the paper, there were tears running down my wife’s face. This man blighted our life for seven years, for no other reason than our faith.’

Sadly the more high profile you are as a woman, the more likely you are to be stalked by others like him. Here is another case where the CPS let a woman down badly.

Indeed, as Paladin’s CEO Laura Richards tells me, everyone has a way to go when it comes to stopping stalkers. But the promising thing is that thanks to her work we are getting people to recognise that this is a huge problem causing not only misery to the stalker’s target, but also everyone around them.

My family and I have endured this man’s stalking for seven years. Before that he did the same to another female MP for three years. Last year he tweeted about shooting me in the head and raping another Conservative MP. I have been informed my stalker is now a scout-master in Mid Beds at the group nearest to my home.

To everyone reading this who knows what it is like to be stalked I want you to know that you are not alone any more. We can and must work together to combat this horrible and cowardly crime. I know that in the case of my stalker, for example, that I can pick up the phone and talk to his other victims when I am feeling down. Together we are stronger.

0207 840 8960

Happy Birthday Ma'am
Posted Tuesday, 21 April 2015 at 15:34

I just want to say 'Happy Birthday Ma'am,' to the Queen.

I have had the good fortune over the last few years to meet the good lady and what has always struck me the most about her visually has been her bright blue sparkling eyes. 

Whatever your opinion of the Royal family, there are few people today in public life who can match her integrity, commitment to duty, discretion or wisdom. 

We are lucky people.

Posted Monday, 20 April 2015 at 08:07

For many people Toddington is just a place you drive through on the M1. But for the people who live there it is a strong and vibrant community that can boast everything, from an award winning local shop in the Nisa to a town band. 

I was once asked to conduct the town band, which I did and enjoyed very much until the end, when they all turned blue in the face and began falling off the chairs.

It was, of course, a joke. They had failed to tell me that the conductor has to stop the band with a certain definite movement of the baton and they all carried on playing - until I frantically yelled 'stop'!

It was typical of Toddington. Happiness and fun appear to be the buzzwords. Sometimes it feels as though there is something in the water the rest of us are missing!

Last week I visited the local Nisa, at the invite of Kishor and Gary, to meet some of the lovely locals. Needless to say, there were lots of laughs.

I was out of my comfort zone as you can tell by the amount I jiggle about in the video. However, it was a great experience and a big thank you to the lovely welcoming staff and residents.

Posted Saturday, 18 April 2015 at 06:53

Dawn, the Greensands GP practice manager. It took almost fifteen minutes to park my car.

This morning I returned to the doctors’ surgeries in Houghton Close during the dangerous hour at midday. This is the time parents arrive to collect children from the Jack and Jill nursery, which is situated in the middle of a complex of Drs’ surgeries, an ambulance station, fire station and just off Oliver Street, which leads to the landfill site.

It was mayhem. I felt so unsafe driving in the midst of so many cars in such a tight space, I grounded my car up on the verge while I went into the surgery for the practice manager. 

On my way in an elderly gentleman wound down his window and thanked me for the petition I have launched to secure funding for a new car park and he also said this;

'I have to bring my wife here every week and it worries me if we can't have the first appointment of the day, because I need to park near to the surgery for her.'

As I watched him drive away, he was in a log jam of cars with an ambulance heading straight into the middle. It terrifies me that one day there will be a mishap worse than the car that drove into the GPs’ windows and that, next time, someone will be hurt.

If I am re-elected, one of my first priorities will be to present the petition from all three surgeries to both CBC and Parliament and to lobby NHS England to return some of the money they have kept, which should be for primary care in Ampthill and to secure safer and better car parking in Houghton Close.  Then, maybe, the elderly gentleman will be able to keep his weekly appointment in the knowledge that he can transport his wife to the surgery without risk or worry.

My First Election Message to Mid-Beds
Posted Thursday, 16 April 2015 at 08:12

For the past ten years I have had the privilege to serve as the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, however, prior to this I trained as a nurse, became a mother of three and began my own business from an original idea, which I then sold. Having had experience of both the public and private sector, I chose to move into politics but first did my ‘training,’ by fighting a no hope seat and then working for the shadow chancellor for three years. 

During my time as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire I have fought off and opposed the building of an industrial sized waste incinerator, 30,000 inappropriately placed homes, a landfill site, a view obliterating wind farm, numerous gypsy and traveller sites and the sprawl of Milton Keynes into Mid-Beds. I was very proud to be described as a ‘Prime Ministerial irritant,’ forcing David Cameron to reject a plan to turn Mid-Beds into a garden city, which would have altered our communities beyond recognition.

Recently, I hauled Thameslink-Govia into Parliament and demanded a better service for commuters and lobbied ministers on behalf of Bedfordshire Police, helping to win an additional £4. 3 million of funding.

I was one of only a handful of MPs to vote for an immediate referendum on our membership of the EU, voted against increases to the EU budget and have consistently voted and pressed for an EU referendum and a point’s style system of immigration, similar to that used by Australia, Canada and other Commonwealth countries. I am known as a ‘rebel’ because I have always put my constituents and Mid-Beds before party politics. In Parliament this does not make for an easy life!

Without doubt, the most important and rewarding aspect of my work has been the weekly surgeries, where over ten years I have had the chance to help many thousands of constituents with their own, often serious, problems. I have championed business growth and am delighted that we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

I am not going to make empty politician promises, but I can give you a sample of what I have already achieved and how I have spent my time as your MP and ask that you return me to Westminster to continue the hard work, which is necessary to keep Mid-Beds as the great place we have all chosen to live.

Nadine Dorries

Mail on Sunday article
Posted Sunday, 5 April 2015 at 06:30

Click here to read my Mail on Sunday OpEd.
Business is Booming in Mid-Beds
Posted Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 09:01

I had a great day on Friday visiting businesses run by and that provide employment for my constituents in Mid-Bedfordshire.

It started with a breakfast meeting in Flitwick with entrepreneurs who have braved the business climate of the last few years and are now feeling quietly optimistic about the road ahead.

One delegate even told me, ‘
We are all scared to say it out loud but the phones are ringing again and everyone I speak to in Mid Beds is getting busier and busier.’

Then it was on to Driveline Golf, who produced a nice video of me meeting their enthusiastic young apprentices, and the Consumer Protection Association, which is doing well and celebrating its 25
th birthday in Mid-Beds.

This all goes to show that business is booming in Mid-Beds. We have the Millbrook technology hub and now Centre Parks all contributing to a long-term downward trend for unemployment in the constituency.

Guardian interview
Posted Friday, 6 March 2015 at 19:45

 Click here to read the interview.
Adjournment debate
Posted Thursday, 5 March 2015 at 20:30

Littlewoods and Telegraph Pension Funds

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mel Stride.)

5 pm

Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire) (Con): I am proud to represent the seat of Mid Bedfordshire, but I am also proud to have been born and bred in Liverpool. I have secured this Adjournment debate because I am gravely concerned that the pensions of many thousands of people in Liverpool and elsewhere in Britain, including in my constituency, might be in danger and that if things go badly wrong the British people, via the Pension Protection Fund, will be called on to pick up the pieces.

We must not forget the lessons learned from the Robert Maxwell scandal. Potentially, billions of pounds of public money is at stake, placed at risk by the pension schemes of the companies ultimately controlled by two men, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, also known as the Barclay twins.

The twins are rich men, although perhaps not as rich as they appear to be, who live in Monaco and in a pseudo-Gothic castle on the island of Brecqhou, off Sark, to avoid British tax. They do not pay their fair share of tax, yet their company, Shop Direct, formerly known as Littlewoods, is suing the British taxpayer for £1.2 billion in compound interest for overpayment of tax on a company the Barclay twins did not even own when the event took place. Some might call that greedy. I do. The Barclay twins are avariciously greedy.

The Twins are notoriously reclusive, which is rather weird, as they own The Daily Telegraph, and they are notoriously aggressive in defence of their own reputations. Twice they have sued British journalists in France. The BBC “Panorama” journalist John Sweeney was convicted of criminal libel in France for comments he made on BBC Radio Guernsey. In 2005, The Times was sued by the twins, again in France. Some might call it hypocritical for owners of a British newspaper that regularly dishes out dirt to sue competitor journalists in a foreign jurisdiction. I call that hypocritical. When I wrote a critical judgment of their actions on my blog, they harassed my blog site host with midnight e-mails from lawyers in New York, France and London, forcing my host to close down my blog for a few hours. The Barclay twins are deeply hypocritical.

People who watched the “Panorama” programme “The Tax Havens Twins”, still available on YouTube, saw ordinary people on Sark give witness that they have been bullied by the twins’ representative on the island. The Barclay twins are also bullies.

The danger to public funds from the twins is fundamentally simple, although the details are murky and obscure, perhaps deliberately so. The twins’ companies, including Shop Direct and Yodel, are losing money hand over fist. Yodel has a loan with HSBC worth £250 million pounds, and if we add that to other loans we see that the twins’ companies owe about £l billion to the banks. That may all be with HSBC, and not just the £250 million as reported. In addition, Shop Direct has traded receipts from its loan book for a £1.25 billion pound facility with a clearing bank, believed to be HSBC.

On the rare occasion when profits are made, they are shelled out of the individual company and transferred to parent and/or grandparent companies often incorporated 

5 Mar 2015 : Column 1181

offshore in the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and other offshore havens. In plain English, the twins’ businesses are losing massive amounts of cash, and when they do not they are hollowed out. If the pension funds suddenly needed a fresh injection of funds, how easy would it be for the pension trustees to extract that money from this complex maze of offshore accounts?

The answer to the question turns on the strength of the pension fund covenants. Again, the picture is not clear, and that is not good. Let us take the Littlewoods scheme, the Littlewoods plan, the GUS ex-gratia unfunded scheme and the unfunded scheme for members. I will refer to them as “the scheme” for short, and that scheme is worth £1.37 billion.

One of the problems highlighted by the Robert Maxwell scandal was that too many of the pension fund trustees were dependent on Robert Maxwell. How many of the Littlewoods scheme trustees are genuinely independent of the twins? One, maybe two. Of the eight trustees, I can identify five that are not. The Pensions Regulator recommends the appointment of a professional trustee for a large scheme. As far as we can tell, no such appointment has been made. It also recommends two independent trustees. Of the two that are in place, one has been there since 1997, the other since 2008—that is not independent.

With a pension scheme worth £1.37 billion, it is very worrying that the recommendations of the Pensions Regulator appear to be ignored. That is at the heart of this matter. The dire financial performance of Shop Direct and Yodel, the £1 billion of loans, and the trade of the Shop Direct loan book for a further £1.25 billion give rise to concerns that the trustees must, by law, address. Minister, is that happening?

Recently, journalist Peter Oborne left The Daily Telegraph because, he said, the paper was defrauding its readers. He said that it had gone soft on HSBC because it did not want to lose advertising income. Mr Oborne understated the problem. The Daily Telegraph went soft on HSBC not just for fear of losing advertising money but because the twins’ companies are in so much debt to HSBC—at least £250 million, possibly as much as £1 billion in loans if HSBC is the bank behind the loan-book deal.The Daily Telegraph owners may have a further £1.25 billion of reasons to be soft on the tax cheats’ bank. We are talking a cool £2 billion-plus here, not the £250 million that was recently reported.

As I have told the House, the twins are suing the taxpayer in the Supreme Court for almost exactly the same amount as the loan book agreement, which by the way, requires renewal every 12 months, making it very vulnerable. They have already received the simple interest and principal amounting to over £470 million so they have already taken a fair slug of our money. But it is not enough. These offshore, non-UK taxpayers would like the British taxpayer to transfer to their pockets the cost of four operational hospitals or 12 running schools. But they may not win their case in the Supreme Court. The twins’ companies underlying the pension funds may end up in a serious amount of debt, running into billions, just like Robert Maxwell’s companies.

If the twins win their case, how are to we ensure that the £1.2 billion remains on British soil to safeguard the scheme from future poor investment returns? As we know, that happens. It is the reason why the Pension Protection Fund was established—to protect members 

5 Mar 2015 : Column 1182

and contributors from scheme shortfalls. I fear that the money will be siphoned offshore, leaving the tax payer via the Pension Protection Fund to pick up the £1 billion-plus price tag if the group continues to perform financially as badly as it has been doing.

The Barclays winning or losing their £1.2 billion court case makes no difference to this scenario. If they win, they could siphon the money abroad and the British taxpayer will pick up the bill. If they lose, the British taxpayer picks up the bill by picking up any shortfall in the scheme fund. Can we depend on the Barclay twins to do the right thing should the scheme suffer a shortfall? We can only make that assessment based on their financial track record and character. We know that they are in serious debt. We know that they were criticized for their role in the Crown Agents scandal going all the way back to 1973. As Mr Paddy McKillen, the owner of three London hotels, can testify, they lack scruples. Mr McKillen’s American social security number was stolen in order to gain access to his financial information as part of an aggressive and hostile takeover of his business.

Let us take a look at the experience of the islanders on Sark. For years they have been bullied, blackmailed, threatened and terrorised. People have fled the island, others have woken to find flyers and papers with their personal information posted across the island. When the wife of the seigneur of Sark fell seriously ill, the twins’ man on the island attacked the seigneur, and all because the Barclays want control of the island and for it to be run as they see fit. The character of the twins can be summed up in three words: greedy, hypocritical and bullying.

What assurance can the Minister provide that if the Barclay twins win their victory in court and get £1.2 billion from the taxpayer, the money will stay here in the UK for the benefit of the scheme fund members, should there be a shortfall? What guarantee can he give that if there were a shortfall, the British taxpayer will not be funding the scheme via the Pension Protection Fund? Has the Pensions Regulator looked into this matter, given the poor financial performance and indebtedness of the contributing companies?

The Robert Maxwell pensions scandal happened because too many people— journalists, politicians, pension fund trustees and lawyers—held their tongue for fear of legal threats and intimidation. Today, the Government protect individuals against pension fund loss via the PPF, but that fund could not survive a hit to the tune of £1 billion. I know the Minister will be keen to provide reassurance that all is well with the fund, but all is not well when one considers the existing make-up of the fund trustees. We are not just concerned about today. Just under the surface, things are not well. I urge the Minister to use his good offices and impress on the Pensions Regulator the need to evaluate at the very least the composition and validity of the scheme trustees.

Today the foundations of the Barclay twins’ empire are cracking. Tomorrow the walls may come tumbling down. I hope that as a consequence of the dire financial circumstances of the Barclay twins’ companies, there will be no threat to the long-term security of the pensioners dependent on them. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I may be right.

Click here to read the minister's reply.

Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at:
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

My Recent Posts
Posted Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 13:17
Posted Thursday, 25 June 2015 at 14:13
Posted Tuesday, 28 April 2015 at 16:18
Posted Wednesday, 22 April 2015 at 12:13
Posted Tuesday, 21 April 2015 at 15:34
Posted Monday, 20 April 2015 at 08:07
Posted Saturday, 18 April 2015 at 06:53
Posted Thursday, 16 April 2015 at 08:12
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