Council demands Nadine Dorries resigns

A local council has demanded Nadine Dorries resigns as an MP over their “concerns and frustration at the continuing lack of representation” of her constituents.

The former culture secretary announced on 9 June that she was standing down as an MP “with immediate effect”, just ahead of her close ally Boris Johnson’s own exit from parliament.

But she still hasn’t formally resigned and remains the representative for Mid-Bedfordshire.

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In a terse letter to Ms Dorries, Flitwick Town Council said the issue had been raised at a recent meeting, and councillors wanted her to “immediately vacate” her seat to allow a by-election.

“Rather than representing constituents, the council is concerned that your focus appears to have been firmly on your television show, upcoming book and political manoeuvres to embarrass the government for not appointing you to the House of Lords,” wrote the council’s town clerk, Stephanie Stanley.

“With an estimated population of 13,800 people, Flitwick represents the largest concentration of voters in the Mid-Bedfordshire constituency.

“Our residents desperately need effective representation now, and Flitwick Town Council calls on you to immediately vacate your seat to allow a by-election.”

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Nadine Dorries spoke to Sky News after her resignation.

The town mayor, Councillor Andy Snape, said demands had been growing across the community for Ms Dorries to “do the right thing rather than continue to hold the people of Mid-Bedfordshire to ransom while she plays political games for personal gain”.

He claimed the MP had not held a surgery in the town since March 2020 and had not maintained a constituency office “for a considerable time”.

Councillor Snape also said her “absence and lack of interest/contribution” had held back local projects, as he hit out at her living in the Cotswolds rather than in her constituency.

In a statement on social media, he added: “It’s the job of our MP to represent the views of Mid-Bedfordshire constituents in parliament and hold the government accountable, pushing for positive changes to policy and legislation.

“In my personal opinion, Dorries hasn’t done this.

“Her focus appears to be firmly on her TalkTV show, her new Daily Mail column, and, more recently, her upcoming tell-all book and exerting as much pressure as possible to embarrass the government into giving her a peerage.

“Regardless of your political viewpoint, Mid-Bedfordshire residents desperately need representation at Westminster. It’s time for Dorries to put Mid-Bedfordshire first and let someone else have a go.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries react during a Prime Minister's Questions session at the House of Commons, in London, Britain, March 9, 2022. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. IMAGE MUST NOT BE ALTERED.

Image: Nadine Dorries is a close ally of former prime minister Boris Johnson.

Ms Dorries announced her resignation last month, just hours before Mr Johnson quit in protest to the Privileges Committee findings – ruling he deliberately mislead parliament over lockdown breaking parties in Downing Street.

At the time, she said a “new life is opening up” in front of her, so it was the right time to step down.

However, rumours swelled that she had been in line for a peerage and was cut from Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list at the last minute to ensure it got the sign off from the current incumbent in Number 10.

In the following days, Ms Dorries said she would not formally resign until after she got answers from Downing Street about why she did not get her peerage.

“It is absolutely my intention to resign,” she tweeted. “But given what I know to be true and the number of varying and conflicting statements issued by Number 10 since the weekend, this process is now sadly necessary.”

The delay to her exit has drawn criticism from all over the House, with the Tory chair of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee referring to her as the “lingering member for Mid-Bedfordshire”.

We have contacted Ms Dorries for a response to the town council’s letter.

The Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association had no comment on the row, telling Sky News: “This letter was addressed to Nadine, and therefore a matter for her.”

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