It's no different to being a minister, says Dorries

Our diarist wonders if Nadine Dorries' excuse for a jungle getaway holds water, and if there'll be apologies to Lord McAlpine from some parliamentary tweeters

Share
Related Topics

Nadine Dorries has hit upon an interesting riposte to those who accuse her of neglecting her parliamentary work by agreeing to spend up to a month at taxpayers' expense in the jungle with Ant and Dec. “Would they say that to Alistair Burt when he goes abroad each week?” she asked her local paper, the Bedford Times & Citizen. “Being a minister and an MP is two jobs and he does them both very well. Do they say when he is in Qatar for weeks that he is neglecting his constituency?”

Alistair Burt is MP for the Bedfordshire constituency that adjoins that of Dorries. It can't be denied that he spends a lot of time abroad. That is because he is a minister in the Foreign Office.

Yesterday, Mr Burt seemed a bit put out that she should equate representing the UK in an official capacity with squatting in a jungle to amuse television viewers. Also, even when abroad, Mr Burt keeps in touch with Westminster and his constituency, something the rules of I'm a Celeb… will not allow Dorries to do.

Mr Speaker is shown up by Mrs Tweeter

After yesterday's dignified denial by the elderly Lord McAlpine, there are a huge number of ill-informed bloggers and tweeters who owe him an apology. To name but one, there is Sally Bercow, who owes her 56,000 Twitter followers principally to being married to the Speaker of the House, one of whose responsibilities is to ensure that MPs do not abuse their privileged positions by making false accusations against innocent people. On 4 November, Mrs Bercow tweeted: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*” – which could only encourage the equally ill-informed to think that they were onto something.

The quality of Mersey

Best wishes to Roger McGough, the Mersey-beat poet, who spent his 75th birthday yesterday working on a new adaptation of Tartuffe by Molière for a theatre in Liverpool. His publisher, Penguin, threw a birthday bash for him in The Strand on Thursday evening, to which he turned up in bright red shoes that matched the handkerchief in his lapel pocket.

Given that so much else about the 1960s and Top of the Pops has been soiled by the Jimmy Savile scandal, it is nice to know that old age has not changed McGough, who is still hacked off with a literary establishment that could not accept that someone who was in a Merseyside pop group with Paul McCartney's brother might also be a fine poet.

He rails against them in his most recent collection, As Far As I Know, published last April – “This is just to let them know, that though forgiven, they are not forgotten.”

Just don't mention Eton

“Justin Welby (aged 56) was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge…” says the opening sentence of a biography of the new Archbishop of Canterbury on the 10 Downing Street website. But it does not say where he went to school.

I wonder why.

Leveson: are papers in for a biffing?

Sir Brian Leveson is maintaining radio silence about what his report will recommend on future regulation of the press, so nobody really knows. Or do they? Could his appeal court colleague Lord Justice Laws have inside information?

He was presiding this week over an appeal hearing by the former News of the World editor and Downing Street spin doctor, Andy Coulson, during which one of his fellow judges, Lord Justice Sullivan, made some remarks about a hypothetical situation in which a brawl broke out in a newsroom and one journalist “biffed” another. (Yes, that was the word he used).

This prompted Lord Justice Laws to say: “I can see circumstances where it would be entirely right to biff a journalist.”

So, will there be a section of the Leveson report setting out conditions under which such a course of action is acceptable? Not long before we find out.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay's Chris Martin “consciously uncoupled” in March  

My best and worst stories of 2014

Simmy Richman
The Queen spoke of respect for all cultures and faiths in her Christmas message  

Decoding the Queen's speech: Was Her Majesty taking a swipe at Ukip?

Jane Merrick
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015