Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries has announced she is standing down as an MP at the next general election.
Ms Dorries, who represents Mid Bedfordshire and has been an MP since 2005, hit out at her party’s decision to remove Boris Johnson as Prime Minister as she used her new TalkTV show to confirm her departure.
The Tory MP has been a vocal critic of Rishi Sunak and his Government since he entered Number 10, hitting out again on Thursday at those who “bet everything on a Rishi bounce”.
Ms Dorries said: “Those MPs who drank the Kool-Aid and got rid of Boris Johnson are already asking themselves the question: who next?
“And I’m afraid that the lack of cohesion, the infighting and occasionally the sheer stupidity from those who think we could remove a sitting prime minister, who secured a higher percentage of the vote share than Tony Blair did in 1997, just three short years ago…
“That they could do that and the public would let us get away with it. I’m afraid it’s this behaviour that I now just have to remove myself from.
“And so, despite it being a job that I’ve loved for every year that I’ve done it, I’m now off. Oh gosh, I’ve just said it out loud, there’s no going back now.”
It has been suggested that Ms Dorries is in line for a peerage, as part of Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list.
But she said: “I have heard nothing… I’m just getting through the emotional aspect of leaving a job I loved for 19 years.”
She said that the former prime minister had urged her to stay on, saying: “He doesn’t want me to go… he said, ‘Nads stay’.”
Ms Dorries, whose promotion under Mr Johnson’s leadership saw her lead the now-ditched plan to privatise Channel 4 as culture secretary, also courted controversy during her time as an MP, losing the Conservative whip in 2013 as a result of her appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
In a clip released by TalkTV, she briefly became emotional as she announced the news.
“After much soul-searching, I have decided not to stand as an MP at the next general election. I love my constituents and I’ve loved serving them – it’s been such an honour for the best part of two decades of my life.”
She offered a bleak assessment of where the Conservative Party stands ahead of the next election, expected to be in around 18 months’ time.
“The elite, the faux political intellectuals, you know who I’m talking about – those who believe they know better than anyone else, bet everything on a Rishi bounce… but it never came and it was never going to.
“The party was five points behind on the day Boris was ousted… and that was a poll deficit that would have burnt away like a summer’s mist on a morning lawn in the heat of a general election campaign.
“Today it’s 24 points behind. And that, my friends, could be described as terminal. It leaves the party boxed into a corner with no exit route.”
TalkTV released a clip of Ms Dorries’ announcement ahead of her next show on Friday.
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