Nadine Dorries: Conservative MP attacks PM as she quits Commons

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Nadine Dorries has resigned from the Commons, more than two months after pledging to go “with immediate effect”.

She launched a blistering attack on Rishi Sunak in her resignation statement, telling the prime minister “history will not judge you kindly”.

The Mid Bedfordshire MP first announced her intention to quit on 9 June.

She accused Mr Sunak of abandoning “the fundamental principles of Conservatism” and said the country was now run by a “zombie Parliament”.

Ms Dorries, whose salary as an MP is £86,584, had come under increasing pressure to act on her promise to resign as she had not spoken in the Commons since June 2022.

The former nurse said she had submitted her resignation letter to the prime minister and published the eviscerating text on the Daily Mail’s subscription service Mail+.

Despite saying she would quit with immediate effect, Ms Dorries subsequently said she wanted to find out why she was refused a seat in the House of Lords.

It was widely thought she would be made a peer by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his resignation honours list.

In a lengthy statement Ms Dorries accused Mr Sunak of “demeaning his office by opening the gates to whip up a public frenzy” against her.

This, she said, resulted in “the police having to visit my home and contact me on a number of occasions due to threats to my person”.

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Who is Nadine Dorries?

Born in Liverpool, the mother of three says her childhood was warm and loving but she told the Guardian she also remembers having to “hide from the rent man as we couldn’t pay him. Some days there would be no food.”

After school she trained as a nurse and her profession frequently informed the political issues she took up – from Group B Strep testing for pregnant women to pushing for the time limit on abortions to be reduced.

She came late to politics and had considered joining Labour, but her views were swung by the Right to Buy scheme which had allowed her mother to buy her council house.

She was elected MP for Mid Bedfordshire in 2005, although her decision to go on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in 2012 led to her suspension from the parliamentary Conservative party.

She would later serve as a health minister before being appointed to the cabinet in 2021 when Boris Johnson made her culture secretary.

Having written a series of novels, her latest book The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson is due out in September.

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In a criticism of Mr Sunak’s leadership, she said: “Since you took office a year ago, the country is run by a zombie Parliament where nothing meaningful has happened.

“You have no mandate from the people and the government is adrift. You have squandered the goodwill of the nation, for what?”

She continued: “It is a fact that there is no affection for [Labour leader] Keir Starmer out on the doorstep. He does not have the winning X factor qualities of a Thatcher, Blair or a Boris Johnson, and sadly, prime minister, neither do you.”

She added: Your actions have left some 200 or more of my MP colleagues to face an electoral tsunami and the loss of their livelihoods, because in your impatience to become prime minister you put your personal ambition above the stability of the country and our economy.

“Bewildered, we look in vain for the grand political vision for the people of this great country to hold on to, that would make all this disruption and subsequent inertia worthwhile, and we find absolutely nothing.”

Flitwick and Shefford town councils in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency had both urged Ms Dorries to stand down immediately, saying she had “abandoned the local area”.

Shefford’s mayor, Ken Pollard, told the BBC her constituency office had closed a few years ago and was now a dance studio.

“It got to the point where it was difficult to contact Nadine on any level,” he said.

In her statement, Ms Dorries disputes this, saying: ” My team of caseworkers and I have continued to work for my constituents faithfully and diligently to this day.”

South Beds News Agency

Related Topics

  • Conservative Party
  • Nadine Dorries

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