The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Posted Tuesday, 9 January 2018 at 12:25

Excellent news about the appointment of Dominic Raab as the new Housing Minister.

This is a hugely important subject in Mid-Beds and I look forward to working with Dom, CBC and my constituents in the coming months as the new Local Plan is put forward.

Posted Thursday, 21 December 2017 at 12:15

As one of my colleagues pointed out yesterday, it takes a special kind of magic to turn a multi-billion pound success story of much-needed investment in railway infrastructure into a ‘horlicks’ of inconvenience and miscommunication.

Yet, somehow, that is where we are with our train services in Mid-Beds.

As my commuting constituents will be all too aware, Network Rail, East Midlands Trains (EMT) and Thameslink recently, suddenly and with no consultation, announced a very significant shake-up of the railway timetables.

As briefly as possible, to enable infrastructure upgrades north of us, and to take advantage of previous upgrades south of us, fast EMT trains will no longer stop at Bedford during peak hours. Instead, Thameslink trains will run fast to Luton, no longer stopping at Flitwick and Harlington.

For my constituents who commute from Bedford this is inconvenient, efforts at mitigation then cause further inconvenience down the line for commuters using Flitwick and Harlington.

As an MP I’ve rarely been as angry as I am about these changes, both because of their significance and the appalling manner they’ve been set out and communicated.

There is simply no doubt that this has been handled badly and I will continue to press for an explanation of what went wrong. I will also keep up the pressure on Thameslink to stick to their promises for easing the negative effects of these changes for my constituents.

All services stopping at Flitwick and Harlington in peak times will be 12 carriage trains. New trains will have both free wifi and tables. Older trains will have these retrofitted.

Perhaps the most significant benefits of the investment on the Thameslink London core are less tangible but of very real advantage to my constituents. Fewer delays, fewer cancelled trains and less time spent waiting on cold, windy platforms.

As with any major infrastructure development, the devil is in the detail. Thameslink must provide the benefits they are promising, most importantly longer trains with larger capacity at peak hours.

I understand why my constituents are sceptical and it’s my job to hold Thameslink to account. If you have concerns, questions or just something you want to get off your chest about these changes then please send an email to

Friday's Visits
Posted Monday, 27 November 2017 at 11:08

Another informative and enjoyable day in the constituency on Friday. But the absolute highlight was meeting Jean, who lives at the excellent Ferndale residential home in Flitwick.

Jean will soon be celebrating her 105
th birthday! Her determination to enjoy life was infectious, as shown by the pictures of her taking one of the first swims in the pool at the new Flitwick leisure centre.

I’d like to thank everyone at Ferndale for hosting me on Friday. The residents for letting me come into their home and the staff for working so hard to make it possible.

My Speech in Today's Budget Debate
Posted Wednesday, 22 November 2017 at 15:10

I rise to speak to the Chancellor’s announcement and commitment to building 300,000 homes per year and to launch an enquiry into land banking.

I have waited for twelve and a half years to stand today and deliver this speech. As someone who called a council estate home until my late twenties, I understand more than most the benefits and the joy of home ownership – and I, more than most, have been disappointed at the failure of consecutive political parties and governments to facilitate the building of homes.

Those benefits were brought home to me during a seminal moment on the doorstep during the 2017 election. I was canvassing, Mr Deputy Speaker, as we do, in the Stoppsley ward of Luton, when I knocked on the door of a lady who recognised me.

She said I could never vote or you if you stood here be an MP because I know about you – you support home ownership and the right to buy. I confirmed that this was indeed true and it was in fact the reason, the fundamental reason why I was a Conservative.

And them she went on to tell me that she was a trade unionist. She thought that home ownership was destructive to society - that people who owned their own homes focused on financial capital as opposed to social capital.

I asked her why this was the case and she told me that it should be very obvious, people who have mortgages don’t strike.

She said, something happens to people when they own a house, they focus on personal advancement – and she said it Mr Deputy Speaker, as though this was a bad thing. They think more about earning money to spend on their homes. They take an interest in the economy.

I thought about this many times because you see, for me, home ownership is so important, I regard it as a fundamental right. When Tony Blair became Prime Minister, one of the first things he did was to scrap Right to Buy and then went on to open our borders years ahead of other EU countries to allow unfettered immigration piling instant pressure onto our housing stock.

The conversation I had with the lady in Stoppsley took me back to the time my mother became a home owner and to the estate I lived on and what happened to the people on that estate when they became home owners and mortgage payers for the first time. Unlike my trade unionist lady on the doorstep, to strike or not to strike, didn’t seem to feature with the new mortgage holders.

Up to that point, front doors had all been painted the same colour by the council. The people who had gardens on the ground floor, had their gardens divided with packing cases there were no flowers, and the place was grey.

But, home ownership changed people overnight for the better, it was as though the moment people stopped paying rent and their monthly outgoings became a mortgage, they opened their eyes and took a pride in their homes. The front doors began to be painted in different colours, expressing individuality.

Flowers were planted in borders, packing cases were replaced with painted fences.

But something else happened too. The men who worked in the local factory began to work overtime, and for the first time, the first car appeared in our street and then another. 

Women who had stayed at home, went out to work and rather than home ownership becoming a replacement for social responsibility, I believe it became a driver for women’s equality.

My mother who had trained as a teacher was busy at night with people coming to her for help with night school classes, in fact, my mother ran a night school that was heaving. People began to sell their first homes and move up the ladder, just as the UK saw its last building boom in the 70’s as new estates popped up across the UK.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the young people today are as despondent as my parents once were. Their chance of owning a home is a distant option for many young people, especially those living in London. The crash of 2008 blocked any chance for many young people to step onto the property owning ladder and, as a result, the price of home ownership has been but a dream for many.

You only have to speak to the young researchers and staff who work here in the palace. They are in their mid-thirties before they can even begin to place their first foot on the housing ladder. The goal, the aim, the aspiration to become a home owner when we were young is missing from their lives.

That is why the announcement today to build 300,000 homes a year is so important, for families too. 

Renting in the UK is destabilising and demoralising for many families

Dead money, the prospect of possibly having to pack up and move every six months, instability for adults and children but worse of all, it’s the hopelessness of renting that demotivates people to improve their life chances. Why would anyone want to retrain, to upskill if the money they pay for accommodation is being earned to line someone else’s pocket?

Community Policing
Posted Tuesday, 7 November 2017 at 16:16

This morning there was a debate in Parliament about community policing. I would have loved to contribute on behalf of Bedfordshire Police but I was chairing the debate and had to remain impartial.

Beds Police have a very effective model of community policing and I was pleased to hear this point being made by Andrew Selous MP, my Parliamentary neighbour in Bedfordshire.

I am continuing to work with our Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, to press the government for a fairer funding settlement for Beds Police.

Bedfordshire has a complex crime environment, including an international airport and instances of extremism, but we are funded as a small rural force. This cannot continue.

When I’m chairing a debate I cannot take sides. At all other times I will bang the drum for Bedfordshire, including pressing for more money for our hard-working, under-appreciated police force.

Well done to Andrew Selous for making the points I couldn't and representing Bedfordshire in a powerful, thoughtful and concise way!

Covanta: Environment Agency Consultation Closing Soon
Posted Friday, 3 November 2017 at 11:19

Despite my lengthy and hard fought campaign, in 2013 planning permission was given for the Covanta energy from waste incinerator at Rookery Pit in Stewartby. However, to actually run the plant Covanta must have an operating permit from the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency’s second consultation period closes soon and it is vital that as many constituents as possible object to the granting of an operating permit. As well as numbers, the objections have to be tailored to the remit of the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency is only concerned with the actual running of the plant and any emissions or harm to the environment or people that comes from the actual installation itself. The EA needs to make sure that a permit will ensure a high level of protection is provided for the environment and human health.

Other important issues such as landscape and visual impact, or traffic movements to and from the plant, were considered as part of the Development Consent Order process some years ago. They are not part of the remit of the Environment Agency and will not be considered by them.

The EA have already held one round of public consultation, which generated a very high level of interest and public responses. The EA are now minded to grant a permit, subject to a number of conditions, and are now holding a second round of consultation on this draft decision. This closes on the 7th of November.

Here’s the link:

The most important thing you can do is respond to the consultation to show the high level of public interest and concern.  If you wish to object to a permit being granted, the types of comments you might like to make could include;

There are too many areas of uncertainty for the Environment Agency to be able to issue an operating permit with confidence. For example
Worries about the effect of temperature inversions on the safe dispersal of emissions.

Concerns about nano-particle emission, especially as there is no method at present of continuously monitoring the level of nano-particles in the environment. Nor is there a safe emission limit set.

Concerns about Covanta’s operating record in other parts of the world. For example, just this year in Dublin 11 people were hospitalised after a lime spill at Covanta’s plant.

Worries that the population in the Borough and the Marston Vale has grown substantially since planning permission was granted initially 6 years ago. Things have changed locally, and the EA consultation process has not taken enough account of this – by not being sufficiently accessible or well enough advertised. Many local people are confused by the planning/permitting process. Much better community engagement is needed.

The Development Consent Order was first issued 6 years ago, based on many studies that are now out of date. The Environment Agency should insist that new environmental studies are carried out, and the permitting process based on those.

Finally, one good thing:

There are worries about dust contamination from the bottom ash storage. The draft permit requires Covanta to store bottom ash in a covered building. This is very welcome and should be supported.

If you do not submit an objection to the Environment Agency, please don’t complain to me when a permit is granted!

Please do not leave this to your neighbour, as your neighbour will be leaving it to you!

Gypsy & Traveller Debate in Parliament
Posted Wednesday, 25 October 2017 at 09:31
An Open Letter from the Prime Minister
Posted Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 12:14

As I travel to Brussels today, I know that many people will be looking to us – the leaders of the 28 nations in the European Union – to demonstrate we are putting people first.

I have been clear throughout this process that citizens’ rights are my first priority. And I know my fellow leaders have the same objective: to safeguard the rights of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU.

I want to give reassurance that this issue remains a priority, that we are united on the key principles, and that the focus over the weeks to come will be delivering an agreement that works for people here in the UK, and people in the EU.

When we started this process, some accused us of treating EU nationals as bargaining chips. Nothing could have been further from the truth. EU citizens who have made their lives in the UK have made a huge contribution to our country. And we want them and their families to stay. I couldn’t be clearer: EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay.

But this agreement will not only provide certainty about residence, but also healthcare, pensions and other benefits. It will mean that EU citizens who have paid into the UK system – and UK nationals into the system of an EU27 country – can benefit from what they’ve put in. It will enable families who have built their lives together in the EU and UK to stay together. And it will provide guarantees that the rights of those UK nationals currently living in the EU, and EU citizens currently living in the UK will not diverge over time.

What that leaves us with is a small number of important points to finalise. That is to be expected at this point in negotiations. We are in touching distance of agreement. I know both sides will consider each other's proposals for finalising the agreement with an open mind and with flexibility and creativity on both sides, I am confident that we can conclude discussions on citizens’ rights in the coming weeks.

I know there is real anxiety about how the agreement will be implemented. People are concerned that the process will be complicated and bureaucratic, and will put up hurdles that are difficult to overcome. I want to provide reassurance here too.

We are developing a streamlined digital process for those applying for settled status in the UK in the future. This process will be designed with users in mind, and we will engage with them every step of the way. We will keep the cost as low as possible – no more than the cost of a UK passport. The criteria applied will be simple, transparent and strictly in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement. People applying will not have to account for every trip they have taken in and out of the UK and will no longer have to demonstrate Comprehensive Sickness Insurance as they currently have to under EU rules. And importantly, for any EU citizen who holds Permanent Residence under the old scheme, there will be a simple process put in place to swap their current status for UK settled status.

To keep development of the system on track, the Government is also setting up a User Group that will include representatives of EU citizens in the UK, and digital, technical and legal experts. This group will meet regularly, ensuring the process is transparent and responds properly to users’ needs. And we recognise that British nationals living in the EU27 will be similarly concerned about potential changes to processes after the UK leaves the EU. We have repeatedly flagged these issues during the negotiations. And we are keen to work closely with EU Member States to ensure their processes are equally streamlined.

We want people to stay and we want families to stay together. We hugely value the contributions that EU nationals make to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the UK. And I know that Member States value equally UK nationals living in their communities. 

I hope that these reassurances, alongside those made by both the UK and the European Commission last week, will provide further helpful certainty to the four million people who were understandably anxious about what Brexit would mean for their futures.

My letter about Sir David Norgrove's comments
Posted Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 10:44
Boris and Bleak House.
Posted Sunday, 17 September 2017 at 10:09

An article penned by Boris Johnson, is a beautiful thing. He is Immediately identifiable as the original author. In a world of plentiful political utterances, where every single word is put through the interdicting process of speech writing teams producing anodyne and immediately forgettable commentary, it is, beautiful.

What other politician would reference Jarndyce v Jarndyce, the background plot to Dickens Bleak House depicting a protracted court case lasting for many generations when writing about the EU? The answer is none. There is simply no other politician with the mental agility to draw a parallel between the epic Bleak House and the monumental ‘cats cradle of red tape,’ that binds members of the European Union. The intentional bureaucratic process that restrains citizens from taking advantage of the new, exciting, technological world in which we live. In Bleak House Dickens writes in reference to Jarndyce v Jarndyce,

this scarecrow of a suit has, over the course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means.’ Dickens could have been writing about the EU today. Boris was.

The article in itself is, in direct contrast to Bleak House, a sunny optimistic vision of Britain following Brexit. And, we can never forget, Boris was the key player in delivering Brexit on behalf of the British people. He details in words impossible to disagree with, the reasons to be cheerful and in doing so, sets a fantastic platform on which to launch the conference season. He builds a supporting framework within which our Prime Minister will deliver her Florence speech next week. To the journalists in a post Boris article spin, this is not a leadership challenge, there is no appetite for that. MPs don’t want one, Conservative party members don’t want one, and the country would never forgive us if we held one. What MPs want is Theresa May to deliver an advantageous Brexit, in which we can increase our trade markets, cut VAT, simplify tax, embrace technology, invest in the NHS, science and the environment and so much more. And then, as in the closing lines of Bleak House, it will be over.

‘We asked him if he knew what was doing in it? He said, really no he did not, nobody ever did; but as well as he could make out, it was over. Over for the day? we asked him. No, he said; over for good.

Over for good!

Aspley Guise Lower School came to Parliament
Posted Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 13:27

It was a huge pleasure to welcome the children from Aspley Guise Lower School to Parliament yesterday.

Bright, funny, inciteful, they were full of questions and intetesting ideas. I asked them to use single words to describe their village to me. Peaceful, beautiful and even historic were the words they used. Who could ask for more?

Thank you so much teachers for making the effort to bring the children to visit the home of our democracy and for the educational tour.

Marston Moretaine - UPDATE
Posted Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 08:30

Following my appeal to Kathryn Holloway, Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and a discussion with Bedfordshire Police yesterday, Beds Police moved swiftly and enacted section 61, moving the travellers from Marston Moretaine playing fields and sports pavilion.

I know this problem has been going on for several months. When travellers were moved on, often they just went elsewhere in the village, sometimes they just moved up the road. When no prompt enforcement action took place, the travellers brought more cars, caravans and people to the village.

Residents’ lives have been made intolerable by a subsequent surge in petty crime. Theft, vandalism and instances of threatening behaviour have increased in the village. Some locals are afraid of leaving their homes unoccupied when they go to work.

Having been moved from the playing fields the travellers have once again moved elsewhere in the village. I’m told they are now on council land and I look forward to working with CBC to make sure that the enforcement powers they have are used swiftly. CBC need to act as promptly as Bedfordshire Police, who were exemplary in the way they executed the removal. 

Sadly, the playing fields that have been nurtured and maintained to a high standard for years have been churned up and destroyed, a huge impact on the leisure facilities of the village. Children's football, cricket and adult leisure are all affected. 

I will again today continue to press those who have the powers to act and will be in the village on Friday to meet with residents and to once again see the damage, litter and destruction for myself.

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 Tuesday, 9 January 2018 at 12:25
Posted Thursday, 21 December 2017 at 12:15
Posted Monday, 27 November 2017 at 11:08
Posted Wednesday, 22 November 2017 at 15:10
Posted Tuesday, 7 November 2017 at 16:16
Posted Friday, 3 November 2017 at 11:19
Posted Wednesday, 25 October 2017 at 09:31
Posted Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 12:14
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