Nadine Dorries Finds Time To Attack 'Publicity Seeking' Chris Bryant After His Sex Assault Claim

Boris Johnson ally mocks Labour MP who wants her ousted after she abandoned her pledge to quit with "immediate effect".
Nadine Dorries and Chris Bryant.
Nadine Dorries and Chris Bryant.

Nadine Dorries has accused Labour MP Chris Bryant, who wants her to quit parliament as she promised, of “publicity seeking” after he claimed to have been sexually assaulted by five of his colleagues.

Bryant, chair of the Commons committee on standards, has suggested an obscure 1801 rule could be used to force the former Tory minister to make good on her pledge to stand down.

The Boris Johnson ally dramatically announced in June she was resigning from parliament after she was denied a seat in the House of Lords. But the former culture secretary has yet to formally do so, and has not spoken in the Commons since July 2022 and last voted in April.

Bryant said he happened across the rule while researching a book – Code of Conduct, Why We Need to Fix Parliament. In the same book, the MP for Rhondda since 2001 included allegations of being sexually assaulted by fellow MPs on several occasions during his time in parliament.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Dorries found the time to attack Bryant over the book.

Including a link and a headline from a story in The Times where the assault allegations are detailled, Dorries wrote: “Ahh, Chris Bryant has a book out – well, I never.

“This latest bout of publicity seeking was so unlike him… All is now clear…”

Bryant responded by saying: “Yes, I have a book out next week. It’s about politics and MPs doing their jobs ... It’s not fiction. When are you either turning up or resigning ‘with immediate effect’?”

Many on the website formerly known as Twitter pointed out a series of flaws in her argument, including the hypocrisy of the one-time I’m A Celebrity ... contestant accusing someone else of seeking the limelight.

Others pointed out Bryant has made the allegations before – so are not new claims designed to sell a book – as some simply thought the comment was “vile”.

Dorries’ local council has also demanded she step down, as people in her constituency were being denied “effective representation” in parliament.

People have also been sharing old footage of Dorries in the Commons tearing into MPs who don’t listen to their constituents. The clip, from 2014, Dorries pointedly said: “Where MPs do fall down is where they ignore their constituents.”

A by-election in the seat, which Dorries has held since 2005, can not be triggered until she takes the formal step of resigning.

The Conservatives have held Mid Bedfordshire since 1931. But a poll by Opinium in July suggested Labour could overturn Dorries’ 24,664 majority.


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