Nadine Dorries resigns: Conservative MP attacks PM as she quits Commons – BBC

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 Mail Online.
The Treasury confirmed it had been notified of her intention to formally step down.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to appoint Ms Dorries to the historical position of Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern on Tuesday – the arcane mechanism by which MPs can leave the Commons before an election.
This will enable the Conservative Party to call a by-election in Mid Bedfordshire.
Despite saying in June that 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".
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.
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."
She accused the prime minister of failing to work with UK companies to boost opportunities.
"You flashed your gleaming smile in your Prada shoes and Savile Row suit from behind a camera, but you just weren't listening," she said.
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."
But Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the people of Mid Bedfordshire "deserve better than this circus act that has followed the Conservatives these past few months."
Sir Ed, along with Labour's Anneliese Dodds, ruled out any election pact. He said the people of Mid Bedfordshire "deserve a choice".
Ms Dodds told BBC Breakfast: "Labour won't be cooking up any deals."
"I think it is a real relief for the people of Mid Bedfordshire," she added when asked for her reaction to Ms Dorries' resignation. "They desperately need an MP who will be focused on them full-time."
Rishi Sunak's political opponents haven't waited for Nadine Dorries's formal resignation to begin campaigning in her Mid-Bedfordshire seat.
Had the former culture secretary actually resigned in June, the by-election would have been and gone before Parliament rose for its summer recess.
But because she delayed her departure, Mr Sunak now faces a difficult contest in the autumn – possibly around the time of his party's conference, placing him under renewed pressure.
Nadine Dorries has a majority of nearly 25,000, but Conservative majorities almost as large have been overturned in the past year.
As a close ally of the former PM Boris Johnson, Ms Dorries's criticism of Rishi Sunak is unsurprising – but it is also unrelenting.
If the opposition parties haven't yet written their by-election literature, they now have plenty of material.
Hurricane Idalia strengthens to Category 3 as it nears Florida
Why Florida is worried about a storm surge
Attack on airport damages Russian transport planes
Russia’s kamikaze drones raining down on Ukraine
Nagorno-Karabakh: 'People are fainting in bread queues'
Nine boats in 24 hours: At sea with Tunisia's coast guard
What's behind Netflix's expansion into gaming?
'Dying by the dozens every day' – Ukraine losses climb
Can pop stars stop politicians using their music?
Do antibiotics ruin your gut health?
How long until a robot is doing your dishes?
African music legend sings tune of Mali's coup leaders
The new Napoleon film stirring debate
Stunning photos of a new African wonder
Why electric crops may soon be on the menu
© 2023 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top