Dorries accuses sinister forces of blocking peerage in Johnson-Sunak feud

Nadine Dorries has insinuated that “sinister forces” were responsible for her exclusion from Boris Johnson’s contentious resignation honours list, leading to an escalating dispute with the Prime Minister. The ex-culture secretary penned a forceful column in the Daily Mail, implying that she was intentionally denied a peerage in the House of Lords by “posh boys” working for Rishi Sunak.

Dorries was among three Johnson allies who thought they would receive a peerage from the departing Prime Minister. However, when the list was eventually published, their names were missing. Following this perceived slight, Dorries announced her immediate resignation as an MP, triggering a by-election in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency. Johnson and Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, soon followed suit.

The incident has sparked a verbal battle between Johnson and his successor, with the former’s camp accusing Sunak of “secretly blocking” their peerages to dodge potential by-elections – a claim Downing Street vehemently denies.

The feud between the previous allies escalated into a heated public exchange on Monday. The Prime Minister alleged that his predecessor requested him to overrule a panel scrutinising his House of Lords nominations. Sunak countered that Johnson wanted him “to do something I wasn’t prepared to do”, which involved “either overruling the HOLAC [House of Lords Appointments committee] or making promises to people”.

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In response, the former Tory leader issued a fiery statement, accusing the PM of “talking rubbish”.

In her Daily Mail column, Dorries accused those close to Sunak of engaging in “political games” and claimed her “absence from the list was deliberate”.

She alleged that Sunak’s political secretary, James Forsyth, ensured her name was not on the HOLAC list by “failing to pass on vital information” from the vetting body. Dorries needed to consent to resign from the Commons and join the Lords within six months, or risk being left off the list.

Dorries wrote, “I believe sinister forces conspired against me and have left me heartbroken – but that emotion gives me all the strength I need to keep on fighting.”

In response, the Prime Minister’s press secretary stated, “As is convention, the Prime Minister forwarded the former Prime Minister’s peerage list to HOLAC unaltered.”

HOLAC confirmed on Sunday that it had not supported eight peerage nominees submitted in the former Prime Minister’s resignation honours. A spokesperson said, “The commission is advisory to the Prime Minister and is not involved in the appointment processes after providing advice.”

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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