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. 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits