“The boys were in acting school. They were not really living in a flat – they were not real. They were actually actors.”

Nadine Dorries, House of Commons Select Committee

May 18, 2022

Facts

Dorries told MPs she worked alongside paid actors and not real people when she starred in the 2010 Channel 4 ‘Tower Block of Commons’ programme. The programme placed MPs into deprived areas of the country.  

An inquiry was commissioned by Channel 4 in the wake of the Secretary of State’s damaging claim. The initial production company, Love Production was asked to conduct research into whether paid actors were used on the programme. Channel 4 also conducted its own search into its records, as well as reviewing the findings of the Love Production evidence with lawyers. The inquiry found no evidence that paid actors were used on the programme.

Verdict

Dorries’ assertion that paid actors were used on the programme was found to be baseless by an inquiry commissioned in the wake of her inflammatory allegation. The Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Julian Knight, has written to Dorries to comment on this finding. At the time of writing, she is yet to respond.

According to the Ministerial Code,  “It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity.  Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.”  Boris Johnson has not returned to the House of Commons to correct the record.

We approached Nadine Dorries' office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to give her a chance to comment, but received no response. We will update when and if we receive a response.

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