Nadine Dorries is ignoring all these people calling on her to resign

Nadine Dorries is ignoring all these people calling on her to resign

Related video: Nadine Dorries criticises MPs who 'ignore their constituents' in resurfaced clip


Nadine Dorries is once again emulating her political hero Boris Johnson, by not resigning after numerous politicians have called on her to do so (given she said back in June she would resign “with immediate effect”).

The TalkTV host and former I’m A Celebrity contestant - who ‘represents’ Mid Bedfordshire - last spoke in the House of Commons in July last year, and later backtracked on the word “immediate” in the pursuit of her missing peerage.

Just days after announcing her resignation as an MP, she tweeted: “I have requested copies of WhatsApps, text messages, all emails and minutes of meetings both formal and informal with names of senior figures unredacted.

“it is absolutely my intention to resign, but given what I know to be true and the number of varying and conflicting statements issued by No10 since the weekend, this process is now sadly necessary.”

Since then, she’s been happy to continue presenting her show Friday Night with Nadine, give weird advice to A-Level students for results day, and criticise Labour MP Sir Chris Bryant for “publicity seeking”.

Kids in glass houses and all that…

And Sir Chris is just one of the people calling on Ms Dorries to stick to her word and step down as an MP – here’s a full list:

Sir Chris Bryant MP

The MP for Rhondda recently published a book titled Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament – and How to Do It, in which he outlined a way in which Ms Dorries could be ousted from the Commons under a rule dating back to 1801.

The rule states MPs cannot go “out of town without leave of the house”, and the chair of the Commons standards committee says it would be “perfectly legitimate” to table a motion in September stating any MP who fails to appear within six months must attend a certain date or be suspended for at least 10 sitting days.

That’s the threshold which needs to be reached in order to trigger a recall petition – a document made available in an MP’s constituency where, if enough voters sign it, a by-election is called and the politician loses their seat.

In the book, Sir Chris writes: “If the House nominated you, you had to attend. Thus when William Smith O’Brien refused to serve on a railway committee in 1846, the House had him detained overnight in the Clock Tower Cell.”

While Ms Dorries wouldn’t face such a drastic fate if the rule was brought back, it would certainly put pressure on her to return to the Commons, or trigger the by-election process.

The prime minister

When the PM of your own country – who also happens to be the leader of your political party – is suggesting you should resign, then that’s a pretty clear indication that you’re not doing something right.

Speaking to LBC earlier this month, Mr Sunak said: “I think people deserve to have an MP that represents them wherever they are.

“It’s just making sure that your MP is engaging with you, representing you – whether that’s speaking in parliament or being present in their constituencies, through surgeries, answering your letters.

“That’s the job of an MP and all MPs should be held to that standard. At the moment people aren’t being properly represented.”

Robert Jenrick MP

The immigration minister told Sky News on 9 August was pretty clear in his views on the Dorries saga when he responded to the question of whether the MP should leave with “yes”.

Mr Jenrick added: “Being in parliament is a special privilege. You sign up for a term in office. If you decide you want to leave parliament for whatever reason you need to get on and do that.

“I don’t think Nadine Dorries’ constituents are being properly represented. I hope she’ll reach that conclusion soon.”

We’re still waiting, Robert…

Flitwick Town Council

Then there’s the local councils in Ms Dorries’ Mid Bedfordshire constituency. In a letter to the MP in July, published on its website, the town clerk of Flitwick Town Council – Stephanie Stanley – wrote: “The Council is concerned that your focus appears to have been firmly on your television show, upcoming book and political manoeuvres to embarrass the government for not appointing you to the House of Lords.

“Councillors noted that your behaviour widely reported in the press is not in line with the Seven Principles of Public Life set out by Lord Nolan in 1995.

“Our residents desperately need effective representation now, and Flitwick Town Council calls on you to immediately vacate your seat to allow a by-election.”

Shefford Town Council

On Friday, a second council sent a damning letter to Ms Dorries calling on her to “tender [her] resignation immediately”.

Ken Pollard, the town mayor for Shefford, wrote on behalf of Shefford Town Council: “Residents of Shefford feel that, due to your scant interest in your constituency, your aversion to attending local events or services and your lack of a maintained constituency office, the local area has been ‘abandoned’ by yourself.

“Your intention to stand down as Member of Parliament with immediate effect was … announced on the 9th of June 2023.

“Nine weeks have now passed, you have not resigned.”


More than 81,000 people

A petition on the campaigning website 38degrees calling on Ms Dorries to “shape up or ship out” has more than 81,200 signatures at the time of writing.

The petition’s description reads: “Between presenting her own TalkTV show, appearances on GB News, writing a book on Boris Johnson, and her weekly Daily Mail column, she seems to be doing anything but the job she was elected and paid to do!

“Faced with skyrocketing bills, ever-increasing NHS waiting lists and mortgages and rents going through the roof, the people of Mid Bedfordshire need someone to represent their interests in parliament – not an MP missing in action who spends her time on self-promotion and touring TV studios.”

An anonymous banner maker

In a more humorous – but still scathing – call for Ms Dorries to resign, banners dubbing the MP “Dosser Dorries” have appeared across her Mid Bedfordshire constituency.

One, spotted in the town of Ampthill and shared by the Facebook page Ampthill.Info, comes with an additional sign which reads: “£86k a year but she’s never here!”

The chair of Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association, Blake Stephenson, told BBC News it is "embarrassing it's come to this", but that the banners "are legitimate protests".

He added he "can't force anything to happen" in his role, including deselecting Ms Dorries.

Unlock Democracy

The latest call for Ms Dorries to resign comes from the campaign group Unlock Democracy, of which former Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake is the director.

The group had previously complained to the parliamentary standards commissioner that Ms Dorries’ absence breached a rule that MPs shouldn’t “cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally”.

Except the commissioner found there is not a “minimum number of hours of attendance” required by the Commons and he “could not investigate an MP based on their level of, or lack, of attendance”.

His office added the commissioner would need to be satisfied that an MP met the “extremely high bar” of “significant damage” which impacts more than just the “reputation and integrity” of the member in question.

Now they’ve renewed their calls for a Commons investigation with the help of an Opinium survey of 2,000 people which found that 55 per cent of respondents believe Ms Dorries has caused significant damage by not resigning immediately like she said she would.

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