Rishi Sunak urged to sack ‘dosser’ Nadine Dorries as Tory MP
Rishi Sunak has been urged to sack Nadine Dorries as a Tory MP as she was accused of “making a mockery” of her constituents.
The MP for Mid Bedfordshire has angered voters, opposition MPs and some in her own party by remaining in post since she said in June she would leave her parliamentary seat with “immediate effect” in protest at not getting a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.
The Conservative former minister – whose claim that Mr Sunak removed her peerage nomination has been denied by Downing Street – has said she is delaying her exit while she investigates why she was refused a seat in the Lords.
She insisted she is “working daily with constituents”.
But locals in her seat have called for her to “shove off” amid complaints that she is “making a mockery of us” with her absenteeism.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey on Wednesday said the Prime Minister should remove the Conservative whip from “dosser” Ms Dorries.
He told the PA news agency during a visit to Ampthill, Mid Bedfordshire: “Rishi Sunak should sack Nadine Dorries today. He should have done it weeks ago.
“Nadine is letting down the people of Mid Bedfordshire. She’s totally absent. She said she’d resign and she doesn’t. People are pretty angry locally.”
The Prime Minister previously said the former culture secretary’s voters “aren’t being properly represented”, but has not moved to expel her, prompting Sir Ed to call him “weak”.
Ms Dorries has not been seen in her constituency for “years”, according to several people PA spoke to in Ampthill.
“I can’t remember the last time she was in the area,” local resident Carole Richardson said.
She added that Ms Dorries should “show up or shove off.”
Penny Ling, 72, branded the local MP an “absolute disgrace”.
She had never seen Ms Dorries in all the time she has held the seat since 2005, Ms Ling said, adding that her last known constituency office in the town of Shefford was closed down some years ago and is now a dance studio.
Her husband, who gave his name as Dr Ling, described Ms Dorries as “totally dishonest and all she cares about is how much money she can make for her and her family”.
Ms Dorries, who hosts a weekly chat show on Talk TV and has written a book titled The Plot: The Political Assassination Of Boris Johnson, to be published in September, has not spoken in the House of Commons since June 2022.
A local author, who asked not to be named, told PA: “It’s completely unacceptable. She’s making a mockery of us.”
Labour’s candidate Alistair Strathern, who hopes to take Mid Bedfordshire once Ms Dorries formally resigns and triggers a by-election, said there has long been a “real sense of frustration” in the community.
“People have felt neglected and underrepresented in Parliament and the fact that she’s been able to come out and say she was resigning with immediate effect and then just continue doing nothing for weeks and weeks, leaving people completely in limbo, is really driving people I think to their wits’ end,” he told PA in an Ampthill pub.
He said the area’s feeling of abandonment was highlighted by the recent public statements by the “normally very apolitical” Shefford Town Council and Flitwick Town Council demanding Ms Dorries’ exit.
Mr Strathern also echoed party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s call for Mr Sunak to “get a grip” and force Ms Dorries out, saying it is “shameful” that she continues to have the Conservative whip.
Labour is hopeful of snatching the seat and mirroring its success in the recent Selby and Ainsty by-election, where the party overturned a huge 20,000 Conservative majority.
But the Lib Dems also believe they have the chance of springing another by-election shock after flipping a 19,000 blue majority in Somerton and Frome.
Ms Dorries secured a 24,000 majority in 2019 in Mid Bedfordshire, which the Conservative Party has held since 1931.
Lib Dem candidate Emma Holland-Lindsay told PA: “When I’m knocking on doors lifelong Conservatives are saying to me ‘I will not be voting Conservatives this time’ because they’re so angry and fed up.”
Sir Ed indicated the Lib Dems are ready to work cross-party with any other MPs who want to force Ms Dorries to step down once Parliament returns.
Fellow Tory MPs have also voiced their anger at their colleague’s failure to follow through on her vow to quit.
Caroline Nokes, chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Committee, told Times Radio: “She shouldn’t have the Tory whip if she’s made it plain that she no longer wishes to be a Conservative MP.”
Conservative MP Damian Green accused her of “damaging Parliament” and said it would be “in everyone’s interest if she just went”.
No 10, Mid Bedfordshire Conservatives and Ms Dorries were contacted for comment.
Ms Dorries told the News Agents podcast: “Myself and my team of four caseworkers are working daily with constituents.
“I understand that political opponents, such as Labour-run Flitwick Town Council, are choosing the summer and news hungry outlets in the summer recess to be noticed. However, we are just getting on with the work.”
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