Tory MP Nadine Dorries has reportedly left Britain in order to appear on the ITV reality TV programme 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here'.
According to the Daily Mirror the outspoken backbencher touched down in Australia on Monday evening and said her constituents in Mid-Bedfordshire had no reason to be unhappy she would be away from Westminster while parliament was sitting.
"Rather than MPs talking to other MPs about issues in parliament, I think MPs should be going to where people go," she told the paper. "If people are watching I’m A Celebrity on television, then that is where MPs should be going.”
“I’ve not done anything to prepare for the jungle. I worked right up until I left the UK for Australia. I’ve worked seven years as an MP and I’ve never taken a day off work in Parliamentary time.
She added: “I’ve worked all through recess and I only had four days off this summer.”
Dorries said she would use her TV stardom to promote issues she cared about such as reducing the current abortion limit from 24-weeks to 20-weeks.
“That is why I’m doing the show. I will be talking about this issue around the campfire. I hope there will be some lively, heated debates," she said.
Dorries, 55, also revealed she was unsure what sort of swimwear she would model. "I have packed a bikini, but it depends upon how I’m feeling on the day," she said.
Dorries has been a fierce and vocal critic of both David Cameron and George Osborne, accusing them of being "arrogant posh boys".
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post UK, she said the chancellor was a "pernicious influence on the economy, on our political strategy, on our campaigning, on David Cameron personally and on the Number 10 operation".
Surprisingly Dorries revealed that despite agreeing to appear on the show, she had not actually ever watched it. "I didn’t know it was a real jungle until three weeks ago. I’m frightened of rats, but then again I do work with them," she said.
Among the challenges, or tortures, given to the contestants are to eat jungle creatures such as cockroaches or spiders.
According to The Sun, chief whip and party enforcer Sir George Young is "furious" at her and only found out that she would be appearing on the programme when contacted by the tabloid.
The paper's political editor Tom Newton Dunn tweeted Monday evening: "Sir George only found out about it tonight, when @Sun_Politics rang. Nadine only asked for some time away, not to do reality TV show."
Given Dorries' frequent savage attacks on her own party leadership HuffPost would not be entirely surprised if Sir George actually arranged her appearance on the programme as punishment.
Former Tory MP Louise Mensch, whose Corby seat neighboured Dorries' constituency was unimpressed with the news.
I'm A Celebrity is due to begin on ITV on Sunday 11 November.
Tom Newton Dunn
Dorries will be in Oz for a month. Misses Autumn Statement and possible key EU budget vote. Mid Beds constituents unrepresented.
Nadine Dorries on (the unelected) @SallyBercow going on Big Brother: "She has reduced her husband and his office to a laughing stock".
Nadine Dorries, 2007: ' I think the celebrity obsessed culture we live in sets our young people up for a fall' http://t.co/Keef78Ek
RT @Number10cat: Nadine Dorries is going to be on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I feel sorry for the bugs.
But poor old Sir George Young must be feeling old. First losing that Europe vote, now Dorries. Has Tory whip lost its crack?
feel same about Dorries doing I'm A Celeb as i did about Galloway doing CBB- big neglect of duties to constituents