An investigation has been opened into a Norfolk MP’s use of stationery. 

Duncan Baker, the Conservative MP for North Norfolk, is the subject of a probe opened by Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Ms Stone is in the process of examining whether Mr Baker broke the rules around the “use of facilities [stationery] provided from the public purse”.

North Norfolk News: Kathryn Stone, parliamentary commissioner for standardsKathryn Stone, parliamentary commissioner for standards (Image: PA)

It is understood that those rules concern whether stationery, such as paper with the House of Commons logo on it, can be used by MPs “for newsletters (including annual reports or general updates to constituents on a range of issues)”. 

Mr Baker said: “I recently wrote a letter to a limited number of households in the constituency to inform them about two really important health-related matters.  

“Not all constituents read the local press or my social media.

“I wrote to tell Cromer and Sheringham households about the new mental health facilities at Cromer hospital and the introduction of expenses for Community First Responders that I’d helped campaign for and deliver.

“I wanted to ensure that my constituents who are in need of mental health support know exactly where they can access services locally, something that was previously unavailable to them.  

“Both towns are located closest to Cromer Hospital and are furthest from the A&E in Norwich.

North Norfolk News: Cromer and District HospitalCromer and District Hospital (Image: Mark Bullimore)

“As such I considered these matters to be vitally important health-related improvements that I could legitimately write to my residents about.”

It is understood that the complaint against Mr Baker was lodged with the commissioner by a member of the public, rather than coming from another MP.

It is thought the investigation will look into whether Mr Baker’s letter constituted a “general update” to constituents, rather than an update on a specific issue. 

There are two other MPs currently under investigation by Ms Stone. 

One is Chris Pincher, who quit as deputy chief whip in June amid allegations he sexually assaulted two guests at a London club.

The controversy about what Boris Johnson knew of earlier accusations of sexual misconduct against Mr Pincher, ultimately led to Mr Johnson’s downfall as prime minister. 

The other is Margaret Ferrier, formerly of the SNP, who has admitted exposing the public to "risk of infection, illness and death" after travelling on public transport following a positive Covid test.

Ms Stone is examining whether Ms Ferrier damaged the reputation of the whole House of Commons.