Nadine Dorries suspended as Tory MP in I'm a Celebrity row

Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries has arrived in Brisbane to take part in the show

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Nadine Dorries has been suspended by the Conservative Party over her decision to appear on ITV1's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here.

The Mid-Bedfordshire MP has had the whip withdrawn, a party source said.

Ms Dorries will be the first sitting MP to appear on the show, which could see her being away from her job in the Commons for up to a month.

The chief whip will meet her when she returns from Australia, when she will be expected to explain herself.

The Conservative Party is concerned about Ms Dorries' inability to do parliamentary and constituency business while she is taking part in the programme.

Ms Dorries said she wanted to use her appearance on the reality show to raise awareness of issues she is interested in, such as reducing the time limit on abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks.

'Heated debates'

"I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it. Rather than MPs talking to other MPs about issues in Parliament, I think MPs should be going to where people go," she told the Daily Mail.

"I'm not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions. There are certain causes that I'm interested in, one of which is '20 Weeks'.

"I will be talking about this issue around the campfire. I hope there will be some lively, heated debates."

But she has come in for criticism over her decision to enter the celebrity jungle, with Home Secretary Theresa May saying: "Frankly, I think an MP's job is in their constituency and in the House of Commons."

Former MP and reality show contestant Lembit Opik: "Nadine Dorries is completely entitled to go into the jungle"

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston said Ms Dorries should resign, telling the BBC: "I was horrified, frankly. I think it just makes her look ridiculous and it brings politics into disrepute."

Paul Duckett, chairman of the Mid-Bedforshire Conservative association, said members may consider sacking Ms Dorries over her appearance on the show, adding that he had only learned about Ms Dorries appearance when media arrived in the constituency on Tuesday morning.

Mr Duckett said Ms Dorries was a hard-working MP but the appearance might "detract from the gravitas" of her role.

Prime Minister David Cameron - who has publicly clashed with Ms Dorries in the past - earlier refused to be drawn into the row, saying: "Nadine Dorries can speak for herself on this issue."

'Z-list celebrity'

Relations between No 10 and Ms Dorries, a former nurse, have been strained since the prime minister made a joke at her expense in the Commons, describing her as "frustrated". He subsequently apologised.

Ms Dorries grabbed headlines by describing Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne as "two arrogant posh boys" who were out of touch with the real world.

Former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik, who took part in I'm a Celebrity in 2010 after losing his seat, told the BBC the Conservative leadership was "out of touch with the zeitgeist of the nation".

He added: "I'm outraged by the fact that it thinks she's been wrong to do something that can put politics in touch with the public."

But former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who recently resigned from the Commons for family reasons and who has had a well-publicised spat with Ms Dorries over her decision, tweeted: "Nothing sadder than a politician, or ex-politician, on any of those shows."

Labour MP Steve McCabe said: "David Cameron was too weak to stop Nadine Dorries appearing on a reality TV show.

"But even after dithering over what to do all day, by suspending her he's acted more quickly over an MP who called him an 'arrogant posh boy' than he ever did over a chief whip who swore at a police officer."

In February 2010, Ms Dorries took part in the Channel 4 documentary series Tower Block of Commons, in which MPs moved in with benefit claimants on a deprived council estate.

George Galloway, the only other sitting MP to have taken part in a reality game show that took him away from the Commons, when he spent three weeks on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, also faced criticism that he was neglecting his constituents.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 477.

    The woman is best summed up in four words: "Unfit for Public Office".

    Go now, Ms Dorries. Follow Denis MacShane's recent example, and let's clean politics up, just a little bit......

  • rate this

    Comment number 476.

    All these critical people - lighten up!!!! Here's an MP who is bringing her message to a much wider audience. As for being absent from the Commons, most people don't even know who their MP is, even fewer probably care about what they do, so stop being so screamingly hypocritical.

    Good for you Ms Dorries, you're an MP in the real world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 475.

    Here is another opportunity for Cameron to show some leadership. Sack her. What a slap in the face for her constituents. She is doing this for money, nothing else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 474.

    Ms Dorries disappearing for a month clearly does not make a jot of difference to this mis-government

    And just goes to show that it is the shadowy crony men behind the scenes who really run parliament not the elected MP's

  • rate this

    Comment number 473.

    Couldn't we send the whole of this appalling ConDem coalition into the jungle? But, no, she shouldn't be going on this shameless, post-election-career publicity stunt on the time and money of her constituents, party, and the British tax-payer. That said, Cameron's off flogging weaponry to dictators, so who's he to talk?

  • rate this

    Comment number 472.

    446. Darren Shepperd
    how can someone think its right to be paid to do one job then decide to take a month out to become a celeb only a tory would think its right

    Im a Tory , and no its not right

  • rate this

    Comment number 471.

    It all depends upon her motives
    IF as she states "she wanted to use her appearance on the reality show to raise awareness of issues she is interested in," then who are we to critisize
    But maybe there is an element of Fame and Glory.
    Charles H

  • rate this

    Comment number 470.

    Just proves you don't need a brain to be an MP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 469.

    Comment #66 which consisted of a rather funny and entirely harmless joke was first given an Editor's Pick..........and then removed. Do you people have any idea what you're doing?

  • rate this

    Comment number 468.

    I think she's done the right thing - all we need to do now is get the rest of the Tory party to go off to the Australian Outback (preferably on a one way ticket) where they can't do any damage!

  • rate this

    Comment number 467.

    I expect she'll try to justify it as an attempt to spread the party message by taking 'new media oppurtunities'.

    Realistically she must have known that this would be the final nail in her already floundering political career & I expect she's just trying to raise her noteriety/profile in an attempt to start a media career before she quits politics for good.

  • rate this

    Comment number 466.

    Typical example of a comfortable well heeled Tory (who has probably never down a days work) succumbing to dumbed down moronic celeb Trashy TV

  • rate this

    Comment number 465.

    Nice job, dump your responsibilitys for a few weeks, still get full paid still get full pension & guaranteed work/pay for another 2+years.
    Thing is, government MUST have known about this some time ago, yet unable/incapable to prevent a taxpayer paid employee from absconding at will, whatever the cynical reason given.

    Instead she could have streaked through Parliament with a message on her back

  • rate this

    Comment number 464.

    Armando Iannucci would be very proud having come up with this kind of gaffe. This just shows that satires such as Yes, Minister and The Thick Of It are not outlandish and do follow real goings on.

    Repeating my earlier quote from Malcolm Tucker, "sorry you had to go, but let's face it, you're a waste of skin".

  • rate this

    Comment number 463.

    That's what you get from spiteful little boy Cameron who has been bested by Dorries. I hope she does not eat too many grubs, which I find objectionable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 462.

    And you wonder why so many if us are jaded about politics. Bogging off to the jungle won't engage people in politics; people watch that drivel partly to get away from reality. They don't want some ding-bat lecturing them in the jungle about European common agricultural policy. This is clearly an argument for giving constituents more powers to *recall* MPs who aren't doing their job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 461.

    Already she's trending (not in a good way) on Twitter, and a Facebook group entitled "Make Nadine Dorries suffer on I'm a Celebrity...." has been set up. I can't see she'll come out of this with either her dignity or her parliamentary seat intact.

  • rate this

    Comment number 460.

    shes in politics , doesnt matter where she is , the poor will still get f++++d

  • rate this

    Comment number 459.

    suspended not sacked probable reason it would trigger a by election which they mightily annoyed people of tat seat would not vote Tory one more nail in the coffin

  • rate this

    Comment number 458.

    And will she still be claiming her £65k salary and other generous expenses from the taxpayer while traipsing off to the other side of the world to make more money?

    Typical Tory MP.


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