POLITICS

Nadine Dorries Has Tory Whip Restored, Re-Joins Party, Reports Say

08/05/2013 17:41 BST | Updated 09/05/2013 09:29 BST

Nadine Dorries has had the Conservative Party whip restored, after being suspended for appearing on jungle reality show I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Dorries has sat as an independent MP for mid-Bedfordshire since the whip was withdrawn in November, amid persistant rumours that she would defect to Ukip - having called David Cameron and George Osborne "arrogant posh boys."

According to the Spectator, Dorries has been given the Conservative whip back by chief whip Sir George Young.

One MP told The Times of the climb down: "The posh boys blinked."

Dorries said in a statement on Twitter: "My whip has been restored with no conditions other than those which apply to any party MP. Work continues as normal."

nadine dorries

Nadine Dorries is reported to have been reinstated to the Conservative party by the Chief Whip this week

MP David Davis is reportedly hosting a champagne celebration for Dorries in his office on Monday, attended by another formerly disgraced and later redeemed MP, the ex-Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell. The party is entitled "Return Of The Prodigal Daughter".

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "Nadine has apologised to the Chief Whip for absenting herself from her parliamentary duties without permission and has given assurances to the Whips Office that she will follow the same procedure as other Conservative Members of Parliament before going away when the House is sitting."

Murmurs that Dorries was seriously considering a jump to Ukip had added further fuel to the suspicion that many of the policies in Wednesday's Queen's Speech, which focused on immigration reform, had been included to appease Nigel Farage fans. Labour leader Ed Miliband joked the Prime Minister could not "out Farage Farage".

Senior conservatives including vice chairman of the party Michael Fabricant, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Education Secretary Michael Gove welcomed her return.

Tory MPs had been keen to see Dorries return, with many commenting that her suspension was becoming an embarrassment to the party. Earlier, former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe told HuffPost UK that Dorries should have the whip restored.

"I don't think Nadine should ever have had the whip withdrawn in the first place. It's an exercise which has gone on far too long, if you ask me," she said.

And former Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft and MP Sarah Wollaston also stressed how uncomfortable the situation was making those in the party.