'Hounded' MP faces standards probe
Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries has complained of being "hounded" after it emerged she faces a sleaze probe into whether she should have declared payment for appearing on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
The Mid Bedfordshire MP controversially starred in the ITV show last autumn, but no fee has yet featured in the Commons register of financial interests.
Ms Dorries recently told the BBC's Sunday Politics programme she had not "personally" benefited from going into the jungle. Saying she had a company, she added: "When I benefit personally from that I will have to declare it to the register."
Ms Dorries said: "I'm a backbencher, not a minister. My personal finances are my business and nobody else's and if I choose to take money from the company then I will declare it immediately to the standards commissioner."
The MP - who was suspended from the Tory whip for six months over her decision to go on the programme - is already under investigation by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority over expenses allegations.
It emerged on Friday evening that Commons standards commissioner Kathryn Hudson has accepted a complaint about whether she should have registered her I'm A Celebrity income.
Posting on Twitter, Ms Dorries said: "LABOUR MP John Mann reported me to Standards Commissioner for undeclared earnings. Anything I earn, I declare IMMEDIATELY. If I haven't declared anything, it's because I haven't earnt anything. I must be the most hounded MP in Parliament."
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is absolutely right that MPs have to publicise any additional income they receive for other work. It helps constituents to make an informed judgement about their MP's performance at election time.
"Mid Bedfordshire residents already have the right to feel let down after Nadine Dorries abandoned them for the jungle - but if she has failed to be straight about what she was paid for the caper, that will only add insult to injury.
"At a time when politicians are again in the spotlight over their outside interests, the public expect and deserve nothing less than complete transparency."