The Stray Ferret received an email saying the former transport minister had been spotted outside Starbeck Library driving a diesel Jaguar XE which the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency website said had an expired MOT.
The sender — who called themself Mrs T Neale, Lady Blueberry Blower of Ripon Town — sent photos of the vehicle in Starbeck and the results of an online search revealing the MOT had expired on October 3.
The person said they had contacted North Yorkshire Police, adding:
“Should this DVLA information be accurate, I would presume Mr Jones is therefore driving without valid insurance.
“The police have got back to me, telling me they are forwarding my information to the relevant department.”
Mr Jones admitted he was “embarrassed” by the oversight.
He added it wasn’t the first time he had been “covertly photographed” and that he found the behaviour “odd and slightly disconcerting”.
“I am grateful to the anonymous individual who reminded me via the media that my car’s MOT has expired. It is currently in my garage as this week I took the train to London as I like to do when diary commitments allow.
“I’m quite embarrassed by my oversight. The car is booked in for its MOT and all the relevant authorities informed and reassured accordingly.”
“It is odd and slightly disconcerting to know that I am being covertly photographed by an anonymous individual who sends these photos to the media under a pseudonym.
“This is not the first correspondence I and others have received from a person using this pseudonym. Previously they have sent me information about a political opponent, whom I informed of the communication, and also sent my office insinuations about a councillor even going as far as including a photograph of their home.
“Despite this strange behaviour, I remain grateful that I have been reminded about my MOT.”
The Stray Ferret asked North Yorkshire Police if it was taking any action against Mr Jones.
A spokesperson replied:
“In line with the College of Policing national, authorised professional practice, we would not confirm the names of anyone who is or isn’t suspected of an offence, nor would we name anyone who may or may not have been issued with an out of court disposal such as a fixed penalty or caution.”