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

Sales Director, Edgeware, Middlesex

£55 - £70K OTE £120k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major multi-million pound la...

Sales and Maketing Manager, St Albans, Hertfordshire

£55 - £70K OTE £130k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major multi-million pound la...

Drupal Developer

£40000 - £52000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Drupal developer v...

SAP Data Migration Consultant (LSMW)

£400 - £500 per day: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisati...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Palestinians paramedics lift the body of a man from the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood, during a brief period of ceasefire requested by local rescue forces to retrieve dead and wounded from the Shuja'iyya neighbourhood in east Gaza City  

Israel-Gaza conflict: It's no longer so easy to get away with murder

Mira Bar Hillel
lowers, candles and other tributes in front of the Netherlands Embassy in memory of the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17  

To punish Putin for the MH17 disaster we must boycott Russia 2018

Jack Gilbert
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor