MP facing inquiry over opinion poll funding

PUBLISHED: 10:04 23 June 2014

Tessa Munt

Tessa Munt


A SOMERSET MP is facing a parliamentary inquiry amid claims she failed to declare expensive opinion polling undertaken in her constituency.

It follows a complaint made by the Political Scrapbook website against Wells MP Tessa Munt - whose constituency includes areas like Cheddar and Burnham - relating to Somerset polling thought to have cost thousands of pounds.

The research was funded by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott, and questions have been raised over whether it should have been declared on the register of members’ interests.

Ms Munt, the parliamentary private secretary to Business Secretary Vince Cable, said she was aware that a complaint had been made that the costs of the poll had not been registered.

Between April 11-18, 500 adults in her constituency were asked at random for their opinion on Ms Munt’s performance in office, their voting intentions for the next General Election and whether installing Dr Cable as party leader would influence their decision.

A Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards spokesman confirmed to the Mercury an investigation had begun.

LibDem Ms Munt said in a statement: “A complaint has been made that I did not declare the costs of a poll commissioned by Matthew Oakeshott. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must now investigate the matter.

“I have spoken to the official dealing with the matter today and await her letter outlining the situation.”

Dr Cable confirmed last month he and Lord Oakeshott discussed the outcome of the local polling with Ms Munt, which Political Scrapbook alleges would have most likely been passed to her campaign manager.

The research found 71 per cent of respondents thought Ms Munt was doing a ‘good job’ as MP, although only 55 per cent could name her when asked.

Parliamentary rules state donations of over £1,500 ‘linked either to candidacy at an election or to membership of the house’ should be declared publicly.

No timescale has been set for the investigation to reach its conclusion. Dr Cable is also being investigated after polling was undertaken in his Twickenham 

More from Weston Mercury


Social media users are calling for staff parking charges to be scrapped at Weston General Hospital after it was revealed employees forked out almost £150,000 to park their vehicles.

Read more

An old school building which is used for nature education and connects people with one of the area’s finest beauty spots will be flogged by the local authority.

Read more

Local punk band The Run Up will open for Irish folk punk legends Flogging Molly when the Fireball-Fuelling the Fire tour hits the O2 Academy Bristol, next month.

Read more

Plans to address shortcomings in special needs education provisions have been approved by a Government watchdog, which previously raised ‘significant concerns’ over services run in the district.

Read more

The Original Rude Boy will be heading to Bristol this weekend.

Read more

Award-winning drama The Madness Of George III will be broadcast live to cinemas, in National Theatre Live’s first ever broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse on Tuesday.

Read more

A charity ice skating session raised hundreds of pounds for Weston Foodbank.

Read more

Mini Christmas stockings and festive trees are now on sale at Weston Hospicecare.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare

A Weston business owner is ‘proud’ after being named among Britain’s best small shops.

Read more

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from September 24 to October 3.

Read more
In The Dock

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists