Nadine Dorries Can't Keep Up With Who's In And Who's Out Of Johnson's Cabinet

It took her three attempts to congratulate two of her cabinet colleagues.
Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries
Mark Thompson via Getty Images

Nadine Dorries may be one of Boris Johnson’s most loyal allies, but she did not help his cause last night on Twitter.

The culture secretary took three attempts to congratulate Nadhim Zahawi, who had just been appointed as the new chancellor, clearly getting confused about what his new job was, exactly.

The dramatic reshuffle in the prime minister’s top team kicked off on Tuesday evening after Rishi Sunak resigned as chancellor and Sajid Javid resigned as health secretary, both criticising Johnson for his competence in No.10.

Dorries was quick to tweet her support for Zahawi when he secured the top Treasury job – but mistakenly believed he was the health secretary, despite attaching a photo of Zahawi which describes him as the chancellor.

Praising his ability to “achieve against the odds”, she noted: “He will deliver for health in the same way he delivered for vaccines and education.”

This message was quickly deleted and replaced with a new, but still confusing, caption.

This time, she attached the same photo of Zahawi alongside two photos of Steve Barclay, who really had been appointed as health secretary.

She tweeted: “He arrived in the UK as a refugee who couldn’t speak English.

“He’s achieved and delivered in vaccines and education and will do the same for the economy.

“Congratulations my friend!”

This message was then deleted too.

She eventually gave up uploading the photos herself, and instead retweeted the official No.10 account, praising both Barclay and Zahawi for their new appointments.

That wasn’t the only activity on Dorries’ account last night though, even as Johnson’s government imploded around him.

She clashed with Labour’s frontbencher Wes Streeting after he mistook a parody account for the culture secretary’s real Twitter.

An account pretending to be Dorries retweeted Conservative MP Nicola Richards’ resignation from government, saying: “It feels like nobody wants to get up and work these days.”

Streeting appeared to believe the parody was real, sharing the tweet and calling it “remarkable”, adding: “Labour leaflets don’t write themselves – Nadine writes them.”

Dorries quickly replied from her real account, writing: “Wake up, Wes. It’s a reported parody account.”

Streeting acknowledged his mistake in response, but added: “Really sorry, Nadine. In my defence, it’s hard to tell parody from reality...”

Conservative MPs Jamie Wallis and Angela Richardson fell for the spoof account too, defending their colleague Richards in now-deleted tweets.

Dorries was also one of the first cabinet ministers to publicly flock to Johnson’s defence last night, even as the resignations were still coming through. She was caught on camera quickly rushing to No.10 soon after Sunak and Javid quit.

And Twitter wasn’t surprised – some even expected her to come out of Downing Street with a brand new job...


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