Nadine Dorries resigns from her Commons seat with blistering attack on Rishi Sunak: MP accuses him of putting her personal safety at risk by ‘whipping up a public frenzy’ against her
- MAIL ON SUNDAY EXCLUSIVE: Nadine Dorries has resigned as Conservative MP
- Read here: Nadine Dorries resignation letter in full
Rishi Sunak faces a brutal by-election test this autumn after Nadine Dorries resigned from her Commons seat with a blistering attack on the Prime Minister’s record.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, the former Cabinet Minister accuses Mr Sunak of betraying Tory principles and behaving irresponsibly, putting her personal safety at risk by ‘whipping up a public frenzy’ against her.
Ms Dorries – who had declared in June that she would leave her Mid-Bedfordshire seat with ‘immediate effect’, but failed to do so until this weekend – revealed that the police had visited her home last week to warn her about a threat to her personal security.
She says she first informed Cabinet Secretary Simon Case of her intention to resign in July 2022, but has been under sustained pressure from colleagues not to inflict a further damaging by-election on the party as it languishes in the polls.
The MP, who is a long-term ally of Boris Johnson, finally announced her resignation on June 9, but then delayed her departure while she investigated whether Mr Sunak had intervened to block her nomination to the House of Lords.
Nadine Dorries has resigned from her seat in the house of Commons with a blistering attack on Rishi Sunak ‘s record
The former Cabinet Minister accuses Rishi Sunak of betraying Tory principles and behaving irresponsibly
The MP, who is a long-term ally of Boris Johnson, finally announced her resignation on June 9, but then delayed her departure while she investigated whether Mr Sunak had intervened to block her nomination to the House of Lord
She says she has obtained a document that sheds light on the saga, but it is ‘officially classified as sensitive’, meaning she is unable to share the contents.
Her resignation means a by- election will be held in her constituency within weeks. If Labour overturns the seat’s 24,664 majority, it would represent the largest collapse in support for the Tories in by-election history.
A recent poll showed Labour on 28 per cent, with the Conservatives trailing on 24 points – down an astonishing 36 points since the last General Election.
READ HERE: Nadine Dorries quits her Commons seat: Her resignation letter in full
Ms Dorries’s resignation letter to Mr Sunak also reveals that her research for a book she has written on the ‘political assassination’ of Mr Johnson led her to conclude that she could no longer remain as an MP.
She points out that there have been five Conservative Prime Ministers since 2010 and not one has been removed in a General Election. ‘There is already talk of ousting Rishi. Something is seriously wrong with the way the party is run,’ she said, adding that in having removed both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss and abandoned the manifesto people voted for in 2019, the party cannot expect to return to the polls and for people to support them. ‘It’s taking people for fools.’
Ms Dorries also accuses Mr Sunak of betraying Conservatism by raising taxes and failing to take full advantage of Brexit.
She asks: ‘What exactly has been done or have you achieved? You hold the office of Prime Minister unelected, without a single vote, not even from your own MPs.
‘You have no mandate from the people, and the Government is adrift. You have squandered the goodwill of the nation, for what?’
Activists from the main parties flooded Mid-Bedfordshire over the summer in anticipation of the former Cabinet Minister finally triggering the contest. Labour’s candidate, Alistair Strathern, has already faced controversy after it emerged that he had taken part in a zombie-themed publicity stunt for Greenpeace.
Activists from the main parties flooded Mid-Bedfordshire over the summer in anticipation of the former Cabinet Minister finally triggering the contest
Ms Dorries resignation means a by-election will be held in her constituency within week
In her interview with this newspaper, Ms Dorries strongly denies the assertion that she had neglected her seat during the summer months. She said: ‘It is nonsense that my constituents have been ignored… that’s something the Prime Minister also knew, so I am very disappointed that [he] chose to go out and make comments that my constituents were not being represented when myself and my team of caseworkers have been working daily.
‘It has all kind of come to a head this week. I’m actually shocked that the Prime Minister himself has opened the door on free hits at me from anybody who wants to make them throughout the summer. The latest threats this week have made me realise that I have to announce that I’m going today.’
Central to her disenchantment is her claim that a ‘group of very powerful men’ – including Mr Sunak and others who will be named in her book, which is due to be published next month – represent a ‘corruption at the heart of our party’.
Ms Dorries – who writes a column for the Daily Mail – added: ‘I’m a working-class Conservative and the Prime Minister doesn’t like… people like me.
‘We cannot have a Conservative government without working-class Conservatives, and I think they are the people he abandoned in 2019.
‘You only have to look back to the days of Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson – you don’t win a Conservative majority unless you have working-class Conservatives on your side who believe in you and believe what you are offering is going to help them to change their lives for the better and that was on offer in 2019. It’s not on offer now.’
Like many Tory MPs on the Right of the party, she feels that Mr Sunak has betrayed the Tory principles of low taxation and maximising the benefits of Brexit.
Ms Dorries accuses Mr Sunak of betraying Conservatism by raising taxes and failing to take full advantage of Brexit.
She says he ‘immediately abandoned the manifesto that the British people in 2019 went out and voted for’.
Ms Dorries added: ‘Levelling-up has been abandoned, the Mental Health Act has run out of time, the opportunities of Brexit just not delivered – you saw the bonfire of the legislation just didn’t happen. The BBC licence reform has been put on the back burner… so much of it has just simply been abandoned.
‘Our tax take is the highest tax we’ve had since World War Two. Why would you vote Conservative when everywhere you look it seems the government is imposing measures that attacks anybody who would vote for this government?’
In her letter, Ms Dorries criticises Mr Sunak for a lack of ‘meaningful regulatory reform’ for the tech sector, by saying: ‘You flashed your gleaming smile in your Prada shoes and Savile Row suit from behind a camera, but you just weren’t listening’.
She also accused the PM – who has a home in Santa Monica – of issuing ‘platitudes and a speech illustrating how wonderful life was in California’.
Despite all this, she believes the Tory by-election candidate in Mid-Beds, Festus Akinbusoye, will hold her former seat – but only just. She said: ‘When I arrived in 2005 the Conservative majority was only 8,000 – after five elections I am leaving it with an almost 25,000 majority. It’s a baton I’m proud to hand over to the candidate who has been selected to take my place, Festus. He’s a guy who I would urge people to go out and vote for. Vote for Festus, because he has a huge heart.’
In her letter, Ms Dorries criticises Mr Sunak for a lack of ‘meaningful regulatory reform’ for the tech sector
The MoS spoke to MS Dorries as she was putting the finishing touches to her letter, which argues that Mr Sunak would be in deeper political trouble if Labour had a leader with the ‘winning X factor qualities of a Thatcher, a Blair or a Boris Johnson’.
She tells him: ‘Your actions have left some 200 or more of my MP colleagues to face an electoral Tsunami and the loss of their livelihoods because in your impatience to become Prime Minister you put your personal ambition above the stability of the country and our economy.
‘Bewildered, we look in vain for the grand political vision for the people of this great country to hold on to, that would make all this disruption and subsequent inertia worthwhile, and we find absolutely nothing.’
She ends her letter brutally, citing her working-class roots and warning Mr Sunak: ‘I know personally how effective a strong and helping hand can be to lift someone out of poverty and how vision, hope and opportunity can change lives. You have abandoned the fundamental principles of Conservatism. History will not judge you kindly.;
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