Nadine Dorries Criticised By Anti-Corruption Watchdog Over New Talk Show

Former cabinet minister accused of breaking government rules by not consulting the body before taking a new job.
The former cabinet minister's first guest will be Boris Johnson.
The former cabinet minister's first guest will be Boris Johnson.
Kirsty O'Connor via PA Wire/PA Images

Nadine Dorries has been criticised by parliament’s anti-corruption watchdog over her new talk show.

The former cabinet minister will host a new Friday-night show on TalkTV, with former prime minister Boris Johnson slated to be her first guest.

But in a letter to the Conservative MP, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) chair Lord Pickles accused Dorries of breaking government rules by not consulting the body before taking a new job.

He said “failing to seek and await advice before the role was announced or taken up in this case is a breach of the government’s rules and the requirements set out in the ministerial code”.

The weekly hour-long programme is titled Friday Night With Nadine.

Lord Pickles said that Acoba was informed on Friday of her decision to take up the new role.

In a separate letter to chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden, Lord Pickles recommended that “given the transparent nature” of the role, it would be “disproportionate to take any further action in this case”.

However, he added that the case was a “further illustration of how out of date the government’s rules are”.

Under the current rules, Dorries should seek clearance from Acoba for any new employment or appointments she takes on within two years of leaving office.

Lord Pickles told the Mid Bedfordshire MP that “the risks under the rules in these types of appointments are usually limited”.

He said that “had you approached Acoba in good time before agreeing to the 26-week contract or publicising the role in the media it would have allowed us to advise you appropriately in advance”.

The Cabinet Office is expected to respond to the letter in due course

Dorries joins a roster that also includes Piers Morgan, Jeremy Kyle, Vanessa Feltz and Sharon Osbourne.

She said: “As someone who’s never been afraid to speak their mind, I’m delighted to be joining the team at TalkTV for Friday Night with Nadine, where I’ll be putting my 23-year political career and experiences at the despatch box to good use.

“Boris Johnson continues to dominate so much of the political narrative since his departure from No 10. Now’s the time to find out what he really thinks about a whole range of pressing issues.”

Labour’s Anneliese Dodds said: “Once again the Conservatives think the rules don’t apply to them.”

The party chair said: “It’s no surprise that Rishi Sunak’s MPs are looking for new jobs, but the least we could expect is for former ministers to follow the guidance around appointments.

“Rishi Sunak has been too weak to deal with his MPs and ministers so far. Is he strong enough to take action against Nadine Dorries?”

In October, she briefly stood in for Morgan on his Uncensored show while the former Good Morning Britain presenter was on holiday.

It comes after fellow Tory MP and Johnson supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg announced he was joining GB News to host his own show.


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