‘Smear’ claim thrown out

EDITORIAL USE ONLY / NO MERCHANDISING'Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX (1950804bg)'Nadine Dorries''I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' TV Programme, Australia - Nov 2012'I'm A Celebrity?Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing? the time has come for a brand new cast of celebrities to head down under and battle it out in TV's toughest challenge.'
EDITORIAL USE ONLY / NO MERCHANDISING'Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX (1950804bg)'Nadine Dorries''I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' TV Programme, Australia - Nov 2012'I'm A Celebrity?Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing? the time has come for a brand new cast of celebrities to head down under and battle it out in TV's toughest challenge.'

The High Court has thrown out a case against Nadine Dorries MP that accused her of smearing a rival candidate during the election.

Independent Tim Ireland lodged an election petition against the MP, whose constuency covers Toddington, Harlington and Barton le Clay in May, but last week the Royal Courts of Justice in London dismissed his claims.

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire, who won with a 23,327 majority, could have lost her seat if she had been found guilty of allegations that she made several attempts to smear Mr Ireland’s reputation.

The initial cost of lodging an election petition can be around £5,500 but costs can spiral once a trial begins, to cover the expense of a legal team.

Mr Ireland secured 384 votes - a 0.7 per cent share of the vote - at the polls on May 7.

Speaking on behalf of Ms Dorries following the ruling, solicitors Clifford Chance said: “This petition was part of Mr Ireland’s continued campaign of harassment against our client.

“Our client believes that the petition was maliciously brought and had no merit.

“We are pleased that the right outcome, namely dismissal of the petition, was achieved.”

Mr Ireland told the Luton News that the London court nullified the petition over a “technicality”.