Hiring detectives was an overreaction, minister admits

By politics.co.uk staff

Justice minister Jonathan Djangoly has apologised after it emerged he employed private detectives to investigate on local party officials.

The Huntingdon MP paid over £5,000 to investigators to probe the loyalty of his colleagues, including his agent, the Telegraph newspaper reported.

It suggested he had asked the firm, Morris Chase International, to undertake “discreet inquiries under the pretext of writing a newspaper article”.

Mr Djangoly suspected that a member of his staff was responsible for revelations about his expenses claims. His cleaner, for whom the taxpayer paid over £13,000, was thought to have also acted as his children’s au pair.

“Following a series of malicious allegations made against me in newspapers last year, I felt I had to act to find out who was spreading these untrue stories,” the minister explained in a statement.

“I instructed a firm of private investigators to try to find out the source of these stories because I was extremely upset that my private family life had been invaded.

“I am sorry if some people judge that I made a mistake. With hindsight I can see that I may have overreacted, but I was being subjected to very malicious, anonymous attacks on my family.”

The cost of the investigation was not expensed, he pointed out.