Nadine Dorries suspended by Conservative party in row over I'm a Celebrity appearance

 

Nadine Dorries, the right wing Tory MP, is facing an early and humiliating exit from the House of Commons over her decision to appear on the reality TV show, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

Party bosses were so furious about the latest surprise sprung on them by the maverick backbencher that they ejected her from the parliamentary party until such time as she gives an explanation of her conduct to the Chief Whip, Sir George Young.

“George Young has suspended the whip from Nadine Dorries. He will have an urgent meeting with her when she gets back. The concern is that she will not be doing parliamentary or constituency business in the meantime,” a party spokesman said.

Penalising her was a high risk move by the Conservative whips, because of the possibility that the huge audiences who watch ‘reality TV’ will warm to her as an outspoken rebel who has defied the party establishment, and a Tory from a working class background who once described David Cameron and the Chancellor, George Osborne, as “arrogant posh boys”. The former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe described her suspension as an 'over-reaction' by 'silly, silly idiots'

It also raises doubts about whether Ms Dorries will want to return to the party fold when she gets back from Australia. Her political career was due to be terminated as part of David Cameron’s plan to cut the size of the Commons down from 650 to 600 MPs, but was saved when the legislation was blocked by the combined opposition of Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party.

But she is now facing a threat from the Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association to deselect her, which would destroy her chance of being re-elected to Parliament at the next general election in 2015. Local party activists are furious that she did not warn them that she would be appearing on the programme, leaving them to find out from journalists.

Paul Duckett, chairman of the Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association, said: “If she's doing something completely outrageous that does detract from the credibility of the parliamentary system then the membership of the association will be the ones to decide whether they wish her to remain. If it does denigrate Parliament and her credibility and her status to be able to carry on doing the job then of course we'll have to take action.”

Ms Dorries has made it clear that she will continue drawing her £65,738 a year MP’s salary whilst she is on the programme, for which she is expected to receive a fee of not less than £40,000. Potentially, she could be out of the country for a month.

Reactions from fellow Tory MPs ranged from outrage to ridicule. The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, dropped a strong hint that in government circles they are not especially keen for her to come back, ever. He said: “I'll obviously miss her and I'm going to have to struggle on bravely without her. I shall be watching it and I shall be ringing in religiously every week to keep her there.”

The Tory MP Sarah Wollaston said that Ms Dorries should resign from Parliament if she wants to be a TV celebrity. “She needs to consider what she wants to do, and if she actually wants to do a serious job, which is about representing her constituents, she needs to be doing that here in Westminster, not in Australia,” she told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme.

Another Tory MP, Michael Fabricant, a party vice chairman, tweeted: “Cameron got Nadine 'Out of here'. Is she now a celebrity? We shall see. Meanwhile she has let down her colleagues and her constituency.”

Ms Dorries has justified her decision by pointing out that participation in the programme will give her access to an audience of 16 million – way beyond the dreams of any other backbench MP. She is hoping to use the programme as a platform to publicise her strongly held opposition to abortion, but the former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, the only other political figure to appear on I’m a Celebrity… , and who defended her decision to appear, warned that she will be “completely at the mercy of the editors” who may edit out any political comments she makes.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Voices
The number of children in relative income poverty is currently 2.3 million in the UK
voices

Environment
A Brazilian wandering spider
natureIt's worth knowing for next time one appears in your bananas
Life and Style
Time and Oak have developed a product that allows drinkers to customise the flavour and improve the quality of cheaper whiskey
food + drink

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

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past