David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt join critics of Nadine Dorries' appearance on 'I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here'

 

David Cameron today warned Nadine Dorries she should be representing her constituents rather than appearing on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The Prime Minister, who has often clashed with Ms Dorries in the past, said it had been "very sensible" of Chief Whip Sir George Young to withdraw the Conservative whip from the Mid-Bedfordshire MP.

Asked whether the whip would be restored after the show, he said: "When she gets back from the jungle she can explain what she's been up to and why."

Speaking on ITV1's This Morning, Mr Cameron admitted he did not know in advance that she was planning to enter the jungle for the programme.

"The Chief Whip made the very sensible decision, saying 'look, you should be either in Parliament or representing your constituents' and so therefore the Conservative whip has been suspended, she's no longer a Conservative MP while this is going on," he said.

"I want Conservative MPs in the House of Commons doing things that the Conservative Party and the country supports - demonstrating how we are going to get on the side of hard-working people, freeze the council tax, help people with their bills, get the economy to recover, that's what we should be doing.

"Obviously Nadine and I have had some run-ins over the years but I think the Chief Whip has done the right thing.

"The Chief Whip took the view and I back this completely that she made a decision to go out and do this programme - that meant she couldn't be in Parliament, she couldn't be representing her constituents and I think people do expect MPs to do either one or two of those things."

He dismissed suggestions that Ms Dorries had been treated more harshly than ex-chief whip Andrew Mitchell, who was able to cling on to his job for weeks before finally deciding to resign over his rant at Downing Street police officers.

"I think the two cases are quite different. If you are in the Australian jungle you can't really be representing your constituents either in Bedfordshire or Parliament," he said.

Ms Dorries, who is unaware of the furore over her appearance because contestants are not allowed any communication with the outside world, is facing a potential investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon.

The commissioner is considering a complaint about the MP and will decide in the coming days whether it warrants a full investigation.

Separately, her constituency Conservative Association is planning a special members' meeting to discuss her future.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt joined criticism of her today, telling Daybreak: "I think we would rather have her in the House of Commons to be honest."

Told that some believed it was a good move for her, he added: "Well I don't agree. A lot of people are very worried about it. And I think we want MPs where they should be, voting in the House of Commons."

Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston said Ms Dorries should resign her seat if she wanted to be a celebrity and should hand her appearance fee - reported to be around £40,000 - to the taxpayer, while Lichfield's Michael Fabricant said she had "let down her colleagues and her constituency".

Announcing her suspension, the Conservative Party cited concerns that she would not be doing parliamentary and constituency work while camping out in the Australian jungle.

But the withdrawal of the whip was denounced as "loony" by former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe, who said it could backfire on the party if the MP proves a hit with millions of viewers.

"If Nadine does get it right out there, they have got themselves into a very silly situation," said Miss Widdecombe, who has herself found new popularity through reality TV since leaving Parliament.

There was some speculation in Westminster that Ms Dorries, who entered Parliament in 2005 and has been one of Mr Cameron's most prominent critics on the Tory backbenches, may defect to the UK Independence Party on her emergence from the jungle.

During the series she and other contestants will face a series of stomach-churning challenges, including close encounters with creepy-crawlies and rats and "bushtucker trial" meals which have in the past featured bugs, crocodile penis and kangaroo testicles.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
Sport
Hamilton runs down the back straight in the rain
F1
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing