Nadine Dorries says she’ll ‘never’ name No 10 adviser, only to do so seconds later

Nadine Dorries says she’ll ‘never’ name No 10 adviser, only to do so seconds later
Nadine Dorries names adviser after just 11 seconds of questioning

In what may be the quickest case of Tory humiliation to date (which will put Liz Truss’s lasting just 49 days in power to shame), Nadine Dorries refused to name the government adviser she alleges altered a letter she wrote to former PM Boris Johnson, only to do so seconds later.

The former MP for Mid Bedfordshire, who served as culture secretary in Johnson’s government, has recently been promoting her book The Plot, all about the supposed “political assassination” of her old boss.

In the book, Dorries alleges Robbie Gibb – the ex-spin doctor to Theresa May who was, at the time of this reported encounter, a non-executive director at the BBC – attempted to persuade her in an off-the-record meeting at No 10 to recommend Stephen Gilbert for the role of Ofcom chair, when she was very much in favour of seeing another Conservative peer named Michael Grade handed the top job instead.

However, after writing a note to Johnson with this decision, she writes that a mole in No 10 informed her of a “scandalous” situation the next day in that the letter had been “interfered with and someone else’s name is in there”.

She rang Johnson and explained the incident, and Grade was appointed anyway.

Now this week, in conversation with Iain Dale on LBC, Dorries was pressed to name exactly who she alleges was responsible for making the change to her advice note.

Dorries explained: “I think what they did was they crossed out the name ‘Michael Grade’ and wrote the name ‘Stephen Gilbert’ in, on my advice note.”

“And who do you think did that,” Dale asked.

The ex-MP responded by insisting she was “never going to say”, only for the LBC presenter to interject and ask if she knew who it was, which she said she does.

He pressed further: “Why won’t you say?”

“Well, I believe that it was Dougie Smith,” she conceded.

Dougie Smith, by the way, being a No 10 adviser who Dorries alleges is part of a group known simply as the “movement” which brought an end to Johnson as prime minister – other members being – according to the TalkTV host – Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings.

But rather than focus on the accusation itself, social media has been ridiculing Dorries for saying she’ll “never” reveal something she was perfectly happy to disclose seconds later:

The Plot had already raised eyebrows in the run-up to its release last month, as one article from the Mail – who were serialising the book – concerned the bizarre claim that a mysterious individual known only by the nickname of “Dr No” (yes, the Bond villain) allegedly had a pet rabbit cut up and nailed to the front door of an ex-girlfriend’s family home as a “true Mafia style” warning.

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