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

A Cheddar man has been hailed volunteer of the year after dedicating years to preserving an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Read more

Visitors to Weston’s Grand Pier will be able to immerse themselves in a new state-of-the-art virtual reality experience once it is unveiled this weekend.

Read more

Weston slipped up at home to high-flying Woking, with defensive errors proving costly.

Read more

A Weston care provider has won an industry award for being the best employer.

Read more

Runners dressed as reindeer, elves and Santas and raced across Weston-super-Mare beach in the Christmas Cracker 10k.

Read more

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from November 5-14.

Read more
In The Dock
Yesterday, 20:00

Two of the West Country’s top performing choral groups will bring their melodic tunes to Weston this Christmas.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A Cheddar school has been praised for its ‘shared vision for care and inclusion’ by an education watchdog.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Parking in Burnham-on-Sea and Cheddar will be free on the two Saturdays before Christmas.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

A Somerset village has been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds to create a community hub after enduring months of problems.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

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

Local Weather



max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°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

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists