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Nadine Dorries Formally Quits As MP With Scathing Attack on PM

Hannah Walton-Hughes

The now former MP for Mid Bedfordshire announced her resignation on Saturday, after promising to quit back in June. This means another by-election for the Conservatives. 

Over the last few weeks, pressure has been mounting on Nadine Dorries to resign, after accusations of her being missing-in-action from her constituency. 

She has not spoken in the House of Commons since June 2022.  

She accused the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of leading a “zombie Parliament”

On Saturday, the Treasury confirmed that it had been notified of her decision. The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is going to appoint her to the position of Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern as of Tuesday. 

This is a mechanism which allows MPs to step down before a general election. 

On 26th August, she issued a damning resignation letter, in which she accused the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of leading a “zombie Parliament” with “nothing meaningful” happening, and ignoring “the fundamental principles of Conservatism”.

On top of this, Dorries accused the PM of helping to create a “public frenzy” against her, and that this had to led to fears for her personal safety.  

She stated that the PM has “no mandate” to serve in the role, and that he has left many Tory MPs at risk of losing their seats and livelihoods in an “electoral tsunami”, due to his lack of a political vision. 

You put your personal ambition to become Prime Minister above the stability of the country and our economy.“- Nadine Dorries in her resignation letter to Rishi Sunak

In addition, the letter eludes to what she sees as Sunak’s allies’ role in triggering the downfall of Boris Johnson, under whom Dorries served as Culture Secretary, and remains extremely loyal to. 

Dorries will be publishing a book, due out in September, entitled The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson. In her resignation letter to Sunak, she described it as “a book which exposes how the democratic process at the heart of our party has been corrupted.”

Despite originally announcing her intention to resign with “immediate effect” back in June, Dorries said she wished to discover why her appointment to the House of Lords had been blocked.  

This means that, instead of the by-election occurring before summer recess, it will be in the autumn, potentially during the Party Conference season. 

Various Conservative MPs have hit back at Dorries

Dorries has been the MP for Mid Bedfordshire since 2005, and sits on a Conservative majority of 25,000. 

She has always painted herself as a working-class Conservative, having spoken about her family struggling to make ends meet when she was growing up. 

She came to politics later in life, after working as a nurse. 

Various Conservative MPs have hit back at Dorries’ brutal attack on the PM.  

Johnny Mercer, Minister of State for Veteran’s Affairs stated that he did not agree with the characterisation of Rishi Sunak’s government by Dorries, pointing to the PM’s long-term workforce plan for the NHS and help with energy bills as meaningful achievements. 

Mercer also believes that people are “tired of raking over the coals of Boris Johnson’s government”, and that the government needs to make people feel “progress” before the next election. 

Opposition politicians have also weighed in on Nadine Dorries’ resignation and actions. 

Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has stated that Mid Bedfordshire “deserves better than this circus act”. 

The Labour Party Chair, Anneliese Dodds also commented that Dorries’ resignation was a “relief”, and that the constituency needs an MP focused on them “full time.”

Dorries meanwhile denies the allegations that she has abandoned her constituency in recent times, stating that she has continued to work “faithfully and diligently”.  

The fourth Conservative by-election in a short space of time

Opponents of the Conservatives had been campaigning in Dorries’ seat, even before she officially stepped down. 

Impact also spoke to UON students, to get their reaction to the resignation. 

Mark Fannon, a second year UON student, said that it was a “shame that it took so long for her to go”, but that it had been “inevitable”. “Sooner or later, something had to give- the patience of councils in her constituency, the national party and also the press coverage.” 

Mark stated that “though I agree with many of her comments regarding Sunak, I doubt many are going to interpret them as an indictment worth taking seriously due to the context of her resignation, and also her strong connection to Boris Johnson.” 

Dorries’ full resignation letter can be found here. 

This is the fourth Conservative by-election in a short space of time. With the party consistently behind Labour in the polls, the pressure on Rishi Sunak is continuing to mount.

Hannah Walton-Hughes

Featured image courtesy of Nick Fewings via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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