Wellingborough MP Peter Bone’s wife settles care home fees dispute with county council

Mr Bone with his wife Jennie at the 2005 election
Mr Bone with his wife Jennie at the 2005 election

A settlement has been reached between Northamptonshire County Council and the wife of Wellingborough MP Peter Bone following a dispute over who pays her mother’s care home fees.

The disagreement about care home fees for the mother of Mr Bone’s wife has been ongoing since 2008, but has finally been resolved with a settlement.

A statement published on the Wellingborough Conservatives’ website today said: “Both parties have reached a settlement, Mrs Bone did not admit any liability or wrongdoing in the case brought against her.

”The terms of this agreement are confidential and will not be disclosed by either party, save as in this statement.

“In addition, Mr Peter Bone MP, who never was a party in this dispute, and has never been involved in any litigation with NCC, has agreed not to pursue his Personal Access Request with NCC.

“Neither party will make any further comments or statements on the details of this settlement.”

Mr Bone has since published a letter, which says: “A big thank you to all those people who have written, telephoned, or called, to offer their support to Jennie and I, over the very difficult last twelve months.

“I thought it was time to bring you up-to-date on the issues that some of you had contacted us about.

“Jennie recently had her fifth session of chemotherapy.

“This is a protective measure to stop her breast cancer reoccurring.

“Jennie has managed the cancer treatment valiantly and though often feeling sick and tired, she has carried on as usual.

“The only difference is she has developed a skin-head hair style.

“There is still one more bout of chemotherapy to go through in three weeks’ time, this will then be followed by radiotherapy and herceptin.

“All this treatment is being carried out at Kettering General and Northampton General, on the NHS. Jennie wanted it to be known that she has received first-class care.

“We are hoping shortly to move into a new home in Wellingborough, closer to my parliamentary office.

“Tom has just started senior school at Wellingborough School.

“I am also pleased to say that Jennie and Northamptonshire County Council have recently settled their long-running dispute over care home costs.

“Whilst I am not allowed to comment on the details of the settlement, I am delighted that agreement has been reached – especially as this will release the huge pressure on Jennie.

“However, now that the matter is settled, I intend to campaign in Parliament for reform of the social care system.

“The current system is manifestly unfair and complicated.

“It can be a nightmare for families in need of care for an elderly loved one.

“You may have also seen that an audit of my parliamentary expenses has found them to be in order.

“This follows an anonymous and vexatious complaint.

“The original allegation was bogus and without foundation.

“I also wrote to you in March after the Crown Prosecution Service threw out allegations of wrongdoing by Jennie and me.

“As a result of this, Northamptonshire Police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over their conduct in this matter.

“The IPCC have taken up a number of specific complaints and are investigating Northamptonshire Police.

“Jennie and I would like to thank everyone for their support, encouragement and friendship, over the last year and we will never forget your kindness.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said earlier this year that no charges would be brought against tMr Bone in relation to allegations of benefit fraud.

Mr Bone was questioned by police in relation to the dispute about the funding of residential care for his mother-in-law.

He denied any wrongdoing and said the claims had been made “without foundation”.

The CPS later said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

A statement released by the CPS at the time said: “The CPS received a file of evidence from Northamptonshire Police in relation to a 54-year-old woman and her 61-year-old husband on 13 November 2013.

“Having carefully considered all of the available evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have decided there is insufficient evidence to charge any criminal offence.

“We were asked to consider whether there was a case for fraud by abuse of position and theft by disposal of assets belonging to the woman’s mother.

“We were also asked to consider whether there was a case of fraud by false representation to Northamptonshire Council in relation to the mother’s assets.

“The evidence showed: firstly that the woman’s mother considered the suspects’ conduct to be acceptable; secondly that the suspects acted openly in declaring the sale of the mother’s house to the council; thirdly that no element of dishonesty could be proved. Therefore we have advised the police to take no further action.

“We understand there is ongoing civil litigation.

“For the avoidance of doubt our advice to police relates solely to possible criminal action.”