Nadine Dorries waves and mimes 'surprise' after Keir Starmer accuses her of 'hiding' during PMQs

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries gives Labour leader Keir Starmer a wave at PMQs (June 8)

BBC Parliament

Prime Minister's Questions this week were always set to be an eventful one given how Boris Johnson survived a no-confidence vote on Monday (June 6), and Keir Starmer was fired up as he accused culture secretary Nadine Dorries of "hiding" on her bench.

The Labour leader mentioned recent comments Dorries made on Twitter where she slammed fellow Tory MP and the previous health secretary Jeremy Hunt's "inadequate" pandemic preparations during his time in the job from 2012 to 2018.

Looks like those words have come back to bite Dorries as it was fuel for Starmer, who was more than happy to quote her when criticising how the government handled the Covid-19 pandemic - and he also had some fun with it.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

"Why did his culture secretary, who I think is hiding along the bench...," Starmer said as he pointed out Dorries sitting opposite as Tory MPs jeered at him.

Starmer continued to talk when the camera then panned to Dorries. The culture secretary appeared to find the jab comical, because she then waved at Starmer and mimed "surprise," before having another chuckle.

"Successive Conservative governments left our health service 'wanting and inadequate' when the pandemic hit," the Labour leader added.

The comments from Dorries were in reaction to Hunt's warning that the Tories should change their leader or face defeat in the next election.

It comes after prime minister Boris Johnson survived a recent vote of no confidence - however, his support has dwindled as 148 MPs voted against him.

"Anyone who believes our country is stronger, fairer & more prosperous when led by Conservatives should reflect that the consequence of not changing will be to hand the country to others who do not share those values," Hunt tweeted.

"Today’s decision is change or lose. I will be voting for change," he tweeted before the vote took place on Monday (June 6).

Dorries didn't take too kindly to Hunt's views and fired back in a series of tweets to the former health secretary and slammed Hunt's lack of pandemic preparation who was part of her party's government.

"Your pandemic preparation during six years as health secretary was found wanting and inadequate," she tweeted.

"Your duplicity right now in destabilising the party and country to serve your own personal ambition, more so."

Dorries's"personal ambition" remark is perhaps in reference to Hunt's suggestion he may run for the Tory leadership if Johnson was ousted.

Hunt told the Times Magazine it currently wasn't the “right time” for a change in party leadership given the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“But I would be very open with you that I don’t rule out a return in the future,” he added.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)