The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Posted Monday, 23 June 2008 at 12:02

During the eco-towns debate in the Commons last week, I told MPs that the office of the Minister for Housing had contacted my Westminster office about her impending visit of last Monday. Her office contacted my office at 4.55pm on the Friday before.

“That’s not true” said the Minister from a sedentary position but still recorded by Hansard (see below).

I don’t like being accused of not telling the truth, so I contacted PICT (Parliamentary Information and Communications Technology) which looks after the Parliamentary telephones, and asked them to confirm who called my office on Friday 13th June between 4.45 and 5pm.

The number was confirmed as 0207 944 8951 and called at 16.43pm - The Office of Caroline Flint MP.

Don’t call me a liar Minister. It will come back to bite you. Of course the bigger issue is how can you trust a Minister who sits in the chamber in a position of office, and doesn’t tell the truth? Should such a person hold such an office?

The exchange as recorded in Hansard is below:

1.38 pm
Nadine Dorries (Mid-Bedfordshire) (Con): It was interesting to hear the hon. Member for Bedford (Patrick Hall) describe a Bedford that I failed to recognise. However, as I wish to keep my remarks short so that my colleagues can speak, I shall not rebut the comments he made about transportation, the need for homes, the location for the proposed development, the lack of available jobs or the lack of growth in the area. I recognise the need for social housing in his constituency and in mine, but I suggest that people do not want to travel from Bedford to Marston Vale when there is no transportation and no jobs for them to go to. Instead of having 20,000 homes miles from where anybody else lives and where there is no opportunity for employment, we should look at regenerating areas in both constituencies, which already have good transport links, doctors, schools, shops and employment. The homes should be built in those areas, instead of having an eco-town on the outskirts of both constituencies.

19 Jun 2008 : Column 1117

The Minister came to visit my constituency on Monday and we are very grateful for that. If there had been more extensive and in-depth consultation with local residents, the Minister might not have experienced the welcome that she did. People are very angry, and I think that the Minister gathered that. We did not know about the Minister’s visit—my office was informed at 4.55 pm on Friday—

Caroline Flint: That is not true.

Nadine Dorries: It is absolutely true. We received a telephone call to say that the Minister would be visiting on Monday afternoon at 1 o’clock. I was promptly also told that I would not be invited to the meetings—with the developers who are to build on the proposed site and with local councillors and representatives of the local authorities—as they were private. However, the hon. Member for Bedford was invited to my constituency for that meeting. Another phone call quickly changed that—I hope that none of my hon. Friends ever has such an encounter. Thankfully, it was sorted out and I attended the meeting.

Click Here To Read The Debate In Full On Hansard

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

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