Jonathan Djanogly apologises for spying

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

A Conservative Justice Minister has apologised and admitted he "over-reacted" by hiring a firm of private investigators to spy on local party members who, he believed, were conspiring against him.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, a member of New London Synagogue, paid detectives more than £5,000 for a covert operation after he was caught up in last year's expenses scandal.

Mr Djanogly, son of businessman and philanthropist Sir Harry Djanogly, a member of Nottingham Hebrew Congregation, denied any wrongdoing.

Among those approached by investigators pretending to be journalists were the MP's election agent and the ex-Tory leader of Huntingdon

The report produced for the 45-year-old multi-millionaire in July last year concluded that aides in the constituency believed him to be a poor politician who lied about his expenses and was a "wet fish… constantly wriggling" who was a "disaster" as an MP.

The prime minister's spokesman said Mr Djanogly would be "judged on his performance as a minister".

Mr Djanogly has previously hosted a Jewish Child's Day fundraising event at Parliament. The former Carmel College student appeared at the Limmud conference in 2005.

Last updated: 11:15am, September 17 2010