Nadine Dorries Says She Wants Answers To Peerage Snub Before Resigning

So much for "with immediate effect".
Nadine Dorries, in the House of Commons, wants to know why she's not going to the House of Lords.
Nadine Dorries, in the House of Commons, wants to know why she's not going to the House of Lords.
Parliament TV via PA Media

Nadine Dorries is to conduct her own investigation into why she did not get a peerage before actually resigning in the latest twist to the Boris Johnson honours list saga.

The move is in stark contrast to her tweet on Friday, which said: “I have today informed the chief whip that I am standing down as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, with immediate effect.”

The list of new additions to the House of Lords lacked the names of Dorries and another Johnson loyalist, Nigel Adams.

The former prime minister then dramatically announced his Commons exit, as the privileges committee of MPs prepared to report that he lied to parliament over partygate, with Dorries and Adams following suit.

Both Johnson and Adams have triggered the arcane process to officially resign – but Dorries has not, with reports suggesting the former culture secretary is delaying a by-election for her Mid Bedfordshire seat to inflict pain on Rishi Sunak.

The PM is blamed by Dorries for blocking her move to the upper house, though he maintains he only refused to intervene with Lords officials when pressed by Johnson.

On Wednesday night, Dorries broke her silence on the issue – tweeting she will not formally resign until after she gets answers from the government about why she did not get her peerage.

She insisted it is “absolutely my intention to resign” but said her requests for documents from the House of Lords appointments commission “is now sadly necessary” as she accused No 10 of “varying and conflicting statements” over her absence from Johnson’s resignation honours list.

She also vowed to “continue to serve my constituents of Mid Bedfordshire”, after Sunak earlier said her constituents “deserve proper representation”.

With her demands for documents likely to take time, the three by-elections will almost certainly have to take place over separate days.

The move could prolong the misery for the prime minister as he faces a battle to defend three Conservative seats at a time of dire polling as he publicly scraps with Johnson.

Downing Street has expressed bewilderment at her delay in officially quitting. Sunak’s press secretary said: “It’s obviously unusual to have an MP say they will resign with immediate effect and for that not to take place.”

In another Tory fit of pique, Johnson on Wednesday called for a Tory MP to step down from the partygate probe amid extraordinary claims he attended a gathering during lockdown.

The former prime minister wants Bernard Jenkin to resign from the privileges committee, which has been investigating whether he misled MPs over the lockdown scandal. The claim came on the eve of the report’s publication.


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