Nadine Dorries MP Asked Police to Use “Public Disorder Act” [sic] Against Bloggers

At Ministry of Truth, Unity discusses a letter which Nadine Dorries sent to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police about critical bloggers. A redacted version of the letter was received by Tim Ireland following an Freedom of Information Request:

…I note that Tim was not the only blogger about whom Dorries complained in this letter – two other bloggers who have been openly critical of Dorries were also named in the letter, which concludes with a specific request that the now former Chief Constable ‘explore the provision available in section 5 of the Public Disorder [sic] Act and see if it can apply’. I can’t say which bloggers for the time being but, suffice to say, its pretty obvious who Dorries was complaining about even with though their names have been redacted by the police and the one thing they all obviously have in common is that they’ve all published blog posts which Dorries will have found  embarassing because they contain information which calls attention to Dorries’s lack of personal versimilitude.

The other two names are redacted, but from the context and the word-lengths of the deleted material it was easy to work out their identities; I can confirm that neither of them was me, despite my authorship of a number of critical posts about Dorries. As I’ve noted previously, Dorries uses the “stalker” smear to discourage critical investigation both of her political alliances and of her expenses. She has also previously boasted that the police “monitor” blogs that discuss her.

The upshot of the complaint was as follows: no action was taken against the two redacted bloggers (Dorries would have surely mentioned any), while Tim Ireland volunteered to give the police a full account of his dealings with Dorries. Given that police were at this point unsure whether a crime had occurred, the voluntary interview took place under caution. After a thorough discussion, it was determined that Tim had done nothing wrong, but that given the way that Dorries was choosing to portray their encounter, he was warned that any further contact would be unwise.

Dorries and her supporters then crowed that Tim had received a police warning, and they engaged in a malicious distortion of the word “caution”: Tim was interviewed under caution, which meant that the police made him aware that anything he said could be used in evidence. However, Dorries and her friends decided to suggest that Tim had received a police caution. This is a different matter entirely: a person who receives a police caution has acknowledged criminal conduct and has a criminal record.

This goes beyond political mud-slinging: Tim has also clashed with some self-styled activists against Islamic extremism, whose attempts to promote themselves through the media and MPs needed to come under investigation. As a result, Tim has been targeted for some actual harassment, including threats of violence and on-line smearing. Dorries’ lies and misrepresentations gave these individuals comfort: it provided them with a vigilante justification for going after Tim, and gave them a signal that any complaint made by Tim to the police would be unlikely to be taken seriously (These same individuals also target me, and one reason they give is that I’ve supported a supposed stalker).

Tim has further background on what happened next:

A man who I will not name was so caught up in Dorries’ late-May ‘caution’ lies that he made his own complaint to police in the days that followed, called on others to do the same, and then made a threat of violence against me and another man on his own site, under his own name, on the same day he had an appointment with police to discuss his (false) allegations.

Police have not acted on any previous complaint from this man, and they did not act on this latest complaint. But they did take the threat of violence seriously, which is what has led to the scheduled court appearance that makes it very difficult for me to expose Dorries as a liar without risk of prejudicing an upcoming trial.

Dorries, meanwhile, has been made aware that Tim has the letter; she has attempted to pre-empt its publication with a further attack on Tim on her blog, which for some weeks has consisted of little more than tirades against political opponents and hostile journalists:

…He targets others too, Including Iain Dale and Guido amongst many, just with not quite the same ferocity. Which leads me and others to think that maybe his special hatred is reserved for women.

3 Responses

  1. […] a pattern we’ve seen again and again: a blogger who has investigated her expenses and challenged some of her assertions is a “stalker” […]

  2. […] blogged on some of the content Tim received here. Tim has now indeed begun publishing the materials he has been given – which consist not of […]

  3. […] have been surprised by Dorries’ line of attack, which was characteristically ruthless: a blogger who has investigated her expenses and challenged some of her assertions is a “stalker” […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *