Nadine Dorries has announced she won't stand again as an MP in the next general election.
Will we miss her? Well the former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has never been far away from the headlines over recent months, and has gifted us with some comic relief in difficult times
She’s done everything from arriving on TikTok with a rap about the online safety bill, to giving car crash interviews and totally misunderstanding how Channel 4 is funded.
The MP for Mid Bedfordshire has established herself as one of Johnson's biggest fans, and defended him until the very end.
Indeed, it was her willingness to go out in front of the cameras to bat for the former PM that has brought so many unforgettable – and often lamentable – clips to our news feeds.
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These are some of Dorries’ most cringeworthy moments.
When she claimed that the Commonwealth Games 'put Birmingham on the map'
Birmingham - the UK's second biggest city - wasn’t a thing before the Commonwealth Games, at least according to Dorries.
People weren’t impressed after the MP spoke about the games by saying: “It's putting Birmingham on the map, it's putting the West Midlands on the map."
As you can imagine, Dorries's comments didn't exactly go down well...
When she inadvertently slammed the Tories’ Covid preparations
\u201c1/4 On afternoon of 23rd July 2020 when I was health minister you telephoned me to tell me that we had to handle the pandemic following the example set by the East/China. That people testing + should be removed from their homes and placed into isolation hotels for two weeks.\u201d— Nadine Dorries (@Nadine Dorries) 1654512666
In what has to be one of the biggest political self-owns in the post-Covid world, Dorries seemed to inadvertently slam the Tories’ own Covid preparations by calling them "wanting and inadequate".
And why did she badmouth her own government’s handling of the biggest tragedy since WWII? In order to slate Jeremy Hunt who was having a pop at Boris Johnson before the confidence vote.
When she claimed Boris Johnson wasn’t booed at the Queen’s jubilee when he was
\u201cThere were far, far more cheers, but that doesn\u2019t make a good headline does it. \n\nQueen\u2019s thanksgiving service: Boos and jeers for Boris Johnson outside St Paul\u2019s\n\nhttps://t.co/7TFYaQDoWE\u201d— Nadine Dorries (@Nadine Dorries) 1654277836
Dorries is so ready to step in and defend Johnson at any given time that she even tried to claim that he wasn’t being booed at the Queen’s jubilee.
Only, everyone who had seen the footage knew that wasn’t the case.
The Culture minister said that Johnson and his wife Carrie were not greeted with boos after they arrived at St Paul's Cathedral for the National Thanksgiving Service, writing: “There were far, far more cheers, but that doesn’t make a good headline does it."
When she rapped about the online safety bill
How we’re making the internet safer 🖐🏻🎤 #onlinesafety #internet #ukpolitics #nadinedorries #news #government #law #freespeech #content #blowthisup #fyp
Politicians and rapping should never mix. But yet, Dorries left plenty of people horrified after posting a rap about the online safety bill on TikTok.
In what looked a lot like a misjudged attempt to get down with the kids, the rap begins: “The UK is passing some new legislation, to make the internet safer for a younger generation.”
“It’s effectively a framework to protect internet users from scams, illegal content and anonymous abusers. It will force big tech to stop their terms being breached, and puts in measures to defend free speech."
Worst of all, it inspired Andrew Neil to get involved and try his hand at rhyming too.
When she posted a clip of the Queen dancing to Lizzo
There’s not a lot we can say about this one. When everyone else was focusing on the first heavily redacted Sue Gray report, Dorries was busy posting a bizarre clip of the Queen doing a dance to Lizzo’s 'About Damn Time'. Very weird.
When she posted word for word the same message as Boris Johnson
Dorries clearly follows the direction of Johnson very closely – so closely, in fact, that she copied a message for deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner word for word.
Johnson posted a message of support for Rayner after the Labour MP hit back at “perverted smears” made against her. It came following reports in the Mail on Sunday which claimed that Tory MPs have accused Labour’s deputy leader of distracting the prime minister by “crossing and uncrossing her legs” during PMQs.
Johnson wrote on Twitter: “As much as I disagree with @AngelaRayner on almost every political issue I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously today.”
Dorries clearly liked the message, as she copied and pasted it directly and tweeted it out herself.
When she didn’t know how Channel 4 was funded
\u201cNadine Dorries: Just because Channel 4 is in receipt of public money\n\nDamien Green: Channel 4 is not in receipt of license fee money\n\nNadine Dorries: And..So..Though its..Yeah and..That..\n\n#ToryShambles\u201d— UK is with EU (@UK is with EU) 1637750249
The actual Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport showed she didn’t understand how Channel 4 was funded last year – despite leading the charge to get the whole thing privatised.
Speaking during a select committee hearing in November 2021, Dorries claimed Channel 4 is “in receipt of public money” when discussing the future of the channel.
In reality, it doesn’t.
She added: "I would argue that to say that, just because Channel 4′s been established as a public service broadcaster and just because it’s in receipt of public money, we should never audit the future of Channel 4 and we should never evaluate how Channel 4 looks in the future and whether or not it’s a sustainable and viable model. It’s quite right that the government should do that.”
When a member of the public kicked off during her interview
It wasn’t her fault, but a new interview with Dorries ended in chaos after a member of the public was heard heckling the person behind the camera and claiming he had 'touched' him.
The whole incident seemed to go on age and Sky News didn’t cut back to the studio for what felt like a lifetime, leaving Dorries to stand awkwardly during the whole thing.
When she talked about Boris Johnson kicking a dog
\u201c\u201cIf he went up and kicked a dog, I would probably withdraw my support for him.\u201d\nUK Culture Secretary @NadineDorries responds to the latest leaked image of Boris Johnson in the ongoing \u2018partygate\u2019 scandal\u201d— Connect the World (@Connect the World) 1644512739
Dorries somehow managed to turn a political interview into a conversation about kicking a booting a beloved pet earlier this year, in one of the more surreal moments from her media appearances to date.
Discussing the impact of Partygate, Dorries revealed that the only way he would lose her support is if he kicked a dog.
In an interview with CNN she said: "If he went up and kicked a dog, I would probably withdraw my support of him. But no, based on his professional delivery for the UK, no absolutely not.”
When she took part in three disastrous interviews in a single day
\u201cis she... is she rowing a boat\u201d— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@Hannah Jane Parkinson) 1643653762
Dorries made headlines back in February after taking part in three disastrous media interviews on the same day, in which she tried to defend Johnson following the publication of the redacted Gray report.
That week, the PM found himself the subject of a backlash after accusing Sir Keir Starmer of failing to prosecute disgraced entertainer Jimmy Savile when he was head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – something which a fact-check by Reuters last October concluded there was no evidence to support the claim.
\u201c"The Prime Minister tells the truth."\n\nCulture Secretary Nadine Dorries defends Boris Johnson after the publication of the Sue Gray report and following Met police reports that they have 300 images pertaining to Downing Street parties.\u201d— Channel 4 News (@Channel 4 News) 1643658453
\u201cPM Boris Johnson has "given his apology," and "we'll wait to see" what the Met Police's findings are, says Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries\n\n"He's going to implement the recommendations [of the Sue Gray report]... because that is leadership"\n\nhttps://t.co/2LcMpn0V61\u201d— BBC Politics (@BBC Politics) 1643649866
The back-to-back car crash interviews in support of the prime minister saw Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy ask her about the "fake news" perpetrated by the prime minister in the Commons. The presenter described the claims as an "old meme repeated by conspiracy theorists", but Dorries insisted "the prime minister tells the truth".
That BBC Breakfast interview
\u201cCharlie Stayt: Have you spoken to the Prime Minister in the last 24-hours? \n\nNadine Dorries - Why are you asking me that question\n\nCharlie Stayt: I'd like to know\n\nNadine Dorries: we've communicated\n\nCharlie Stayt: I'm really confused, is that a difficult question?\n\n#BBCBreakfast\u201d— Haggis_UK \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa (@Haggis_UK \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa) 1644048062
On the Saturday after those aforementioned interviews, she appeared on BBC Breakfast where she was interviewed by Charlie Stayt. However, the wheels soon fell off their chat when he asked whether she had spoke to the prime minister resulting in television gold of the wrong kind.
When she accused the BBC of nepotism and irony died
\u201c.@NadineDorries hired her daughters and paid their \u00a380k salary using taxpayers money \n\n(And in 7 years I didn\u2019t know anyone at the BBC whose parents worked there. I\u2019d like a source for her claim, but I expect there isn\u2019t one because it\u2019s not true)\n\nhttps://t.co/lrKMJ6WNtu\u201d— Julia Macfarlane \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc63\udb40\udc74\udb40\udc7f\ud83c\uddee\ud83c\udde9 (@Julia Macfarlane \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc63\udb40\udc74\udb40\udc7f\ud83c\uddee\ud83c\udde9) 1633420476
Dorries attempted to hit out at the BBC by accusing it of “nepotism” – only for it to awkwardly backfire.
The MP was speaking at the Conservative Party conference when she accused the corporation of “nepotism” – seemingly forgetting that she employed her daughters to work in her MP office less than a decade ago.
She said: “We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people who pay the licence fee, and how it can be more accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just people whose mum and dad worked there.”
When one of her TikToks got flagged with a health warning
Rapping was bad but that didn't stop Dorries and her TikTok journey.
In August, she posted a video of her hanging out in a self-driving car, comes with a message overlaying it which reads: "Participating in this activity could result in you or others getting hurt."
"The future is here," she says in the clip. "I'm currently riding in a self-driving car".
When she called Partygate prob a "witch hunt"
Lest we forget, Johnson is still under investigation over whether he lied about Partygate in parliament.
It seems like a good thing to determine, one way or another.
But here is how Dorries reacted to the scrutiny:
\u201cIf this witch hunt continues, it will be the most egregious abuse of power witnessed in Westminster. It will cast serious doubt not only on the reputation of individual MPs sitting on the committee, but on the processes of Parliament and democracy itself https://t.co/2Pwm7VQ7WI\u201d— Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP (@Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP) 1659857716
When she fluffed her TalkTV debut
Dorries now has a weekly show on TalkTV and we can see why given her audition went perfectly.
The MP stood in for Piers Morgan and when reading off an autocue sounded pretty garbled.
At least Dorries then admitted: “Sorry, I’ve just completely messed up.”
When she mocked a random Twitter user
It is nice when MPs get engaged with members of the public but not so nice when they slag them off for not having as many Twitter followers.
But that is what Dorries did recently when someone replied to her tweet criticising her opinion.
As a result, people flocked to the Twitter account whose followers soared.
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