Nadine Dorries: Former minister stands down as Tory MPon June 9, 2023 at 3:40 pm

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The ex-culture secretary and close ally of Boris Johnson says she is standing down “with immediate effect”.

Nadine Dorries leaves 10 Downing Street on July 6, 2022 in London, England.Image source, Getty Images

Former Conservative minister Nadine Dorries has announced she is standing down as an MP.

The former culture secretary and close ally of Boris Johnson said she was standing down “with immediate effect” and it was “time for another to take the reins”.

It means there will be a by-election in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency, where she has a majority of 24,664.

Ms Dorries had already said she would not stand at the next general election.

It comes ahead of the publication of Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list, which is expected later.

Ms Dorries had been expected to be nominated for an honour and to stand down to accept the peerage.

Asked about the reports earlier on Friday, she told TalkTV: “The last thing I would want to do is cause a by-election in my constituency.”

“I don’t believe I will be going into the House of Lords any time soon,” she said, adding that she had not been contacted by anybody in No 10 about the honours list.

Last month, she told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme she had “never officially been told” she was getting a peerage and had only seen a leak to a newspaper.

Born in Liverpool in 1957, Ms Dorries worked as a nurse before becoming an MP in 2005.

She is also a successful author of romantic historical novels and hit the headlines in 2012 for taking part in ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity, which led to her suspension from the Conservative parliamentary party for six months.

She was a vocal critic of then-Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne, once describing them as “a pair of posh boys who don’t know the price of a pint of milk”.

When Mr Johnson entered Downing Street he made her a health minister before appointing her as culture secretary in September 2021.

She left government last September when Mr Johnson stepped down as prime minister.

Since then she has been a strong critic of his successor Rishi Sunak and has hit out at those who sought to oust Mr Johnson.

Announcing that she would not stand in the general election in February, she criticised “the lack of cohesion, the infighting and occasionally the sheer stupidity from those who think we could remove a sitting prime minister”.

“I’m afraid it’s this behaviour that I now just have to remove myself from,” she added.

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