Nadine Dorries Should Lose Conservative Party Whip, Says Senior Tory

The former culture secretary is under pressure to quit parliament as she promised.
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Nadine Dorries should be stripped of the Conservative Party whip if she does not resign as an MP, a senior Tory has said.

Caroline Nokes, the chair of the Commons women and equalities committee, ramped up the pressure on the former culture secretary to fulfil her promise to quit.

“Well, you know, she shouldn’t have the Tory whip if she’s made it plain that she no longer wishes to be a Conservative MP but can’t take that final step towards resignation. I think she needs to crack on and do that,” Nokes told Times Radio on Wednesday.

“Her heart’s not in it and if your heart’s not in it, then you shouldn’t be taking up a seat that somebody who wishes to represent the people of that [constituency] with heart and soul could be doing.”

Dorries dramatically announced in June she was resigning from parliament “immediately” after she was denied a seat in the House of Lords.

But the close ally of Boris Johnson has yet to formally stand down from her Mid Bedfordshire seat.

She has not spoken in the Commons chamber since June 7, 2022, causing widespread anger in parliament and in her constituency.

There is currently no standard way for Dorries’ constituents or for the party to force her out of parliament. But removing the whip would signal Sunak’s unhappiness with her remaining in place.

Sunak has criticised Dorries, telling her that people in her seat “aren’t being properly represented”.

There is no love lost between the pair, with Dorries having accused the “posh” prime minister of blocking her peerage, something No.10 has strongly denied.

Dorries had expected to be given a seat in the Lords as part of Johnson’s resignation honours list. But her place was not approved by the independent body that vets applicants.

Two local councils in Dorries’ constituency have also demanded she stand aside.

And parliamentary petition signed by voters in her seat has called for the law to be changed to allow people to trigger a by-election if their MP has been “absent from their constituency and parliament for 10 sitting days”.

Keir Starmer has said Dorries has “got to go” and trigger a by-election, which Labour would be hopeful of winning.

“She hasn’t been representing them for a very long time,” the Labour leader told LBC. “She said she would resign with immediate effect. I don’t know what her dictionary definition of immediate effect is. But ten weeks after the event doesn’t seem immediate.”

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said today: “Rishi Sunak should have the guts to sack Nadine Dorries as a Conservative MP. His silence on this whole sorry saga has become deafening.”


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