Nadine Dorries formally quits as MP as by-election test looms

The former culture secretary finally handed in her resignation over the weekend, with a by-election now set to be scheduled in Mid Bedfordshire.

Nadine Dorries has formally quit as an MP after the Treasury confirmed chancellor Jeremy Hunt has appointed her to an archaic role used to quit the Commons.

It comes after the former culture secretary finally handed in her resignation over the weekend, with a by-election now set to be scheduled in the Mid Bedfordshire constituency.

She has now been appointed as Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern – a mechanism used for MPs to resign their post.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats are already campaigning for the seat, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak facing the prospect of another difficult electoral test for the Conservatives in a nominally safe constituency.

Her formal exit means a motion called a “writ” can be moved when Parliament returns on September 4, giving between 21 and 27 working days for the by-election.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey will visit Mid Bedfordshire later on Tuesday, his fourth campaign stop in the seat since Dorries originally announced her plan to depart and the first since she formally stood down.

While there he will call for increased funding to expand capacity at local GP practices.

“The people of Mid Bedfordshire have been taken for granted for too long,” Sir Ed said.

The Johnson loyalist has been scathing over current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak / Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

“From not being able to see a GP to having an absent MP, it’s clear this part of the world has been completely ignored by the Conservatives.

“People across Bedfordshire should be able to get an appointment with their doctor when they need it – instead we have a Government that just can’t get the basics right.

“The Liberal Democrats are the clear challengers in this by-election, every vote for our local champion Emma Holland-Lindsay will be a vote to send a message to the Conservatives that enough is enough.”

Labour’s candidate Alistair Strathern was also campaigning over the bank holiday weekend.

The party is seeking to overturn a 24,000 majority in the seat to see off the Tories.

The departure of Dorries came after weeks of pressure on her to quit and act on her 9 June pledge to step down with “immediate effect” in protest at not getting a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.

The Johnson loyalist resigned over the weekend with a scathing attack on Sunak.

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