A new low in parliamentary history? Serving Conservative MP Nadine Dorries takes time out to appear reality television show I'm a Celebrity...
Nadine Dorries has set what many will see as a new low in parliamentary history by being the first serving MP from a major political party to take time out to appear on a ‘reality TV’ show.
The MP for Mid-Bedfordshire is already in Queensland preparing for her appearance on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here - and has announced that she has no intention of foregoing any of her £65,738 MP’s salary while she is out in the jungle receiving a fee expected to at least £40,000.
Ms Dorries, 55, reportedly said: “I've worked seven years as an MP and I've never taken a day off work in Parliamentary time. I've worked all through recess and I only had four days off this summer.
“Parliament is in half-term while I'm there. I've not done anything to prepare for the jungle. I worked right up until I left the UK for Australia.”
The Commons will be in recess for a week from 13 November, but her appearance could last longer than that..
She also told the Daily Mail: “I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it. Rather than MPs talking to other MPs about issues in parliament, I think MPs should be going to where people go.”
Her reasoning is similar to that used by the Respect MP George Galloway, to justify his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006. He claimed that “politicians should use every opportunity to communicate with people” – though the only part of his appearance on the show that made any impression on the public was his impersonation of a cat.
The former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, who made a brief appearance in the last round of “I'm a Celebrity…” before being voted off by viewers, has defended Ms Dorries’s decision to appear, and to draw her parliamentary salary at the same time.
The reaction from Twitter users and from Ms Dorries’s constituents, interviewed by BBC Three Counties Radio, was overwhelmingly negative. One voter told the BBC that it was “tacky” and that she did not want to see her MP in the jungle in her underwear.
The Tory MP Michael Fabricant, a vice chairman of the party, tweeted: “Rolling around in the mud with Nadine and eating scorpions in Queensland Australia is not my idea of fun.”
The former Tory MP Louise Mensch – who was herself criticised during her short time in Parliament for being overly fond of publicity – tweeted that there is “nothing sadder than a politician, or ex-politician, on any of those shows.”
Ms Dorries has been a constant rebel since entering Parliament in 2005, once describing David Cameron and George Osborne as “arrogant posh boys”. Her parliamentary career appeared to effectively over when the government introduced legislation that would have cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600, but was saved when the Liberal Democrats to join Labour in blocking it.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Mike Tindall, Jodie Kidd and co take to the slopes
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Game of Thrones, season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life
Martin Scorsese 'in shock' after death on set of new film Silence
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures