Nadine Dorries resigns as MP, triggering Mid Bedfordshire by-election

Nadine Dorries, former Conservative minister and close ally of Boris Johnson, has declared her resignation as an MP, effective immediately. Dorries, who previously served as the culture secretary, stated that it had been an honour to serve in Mid Bedfordshire and that it is now time for someone else to take over. The Tories currently hold a 24,000 majority in her constituency, which will now face a by-election.

Dorries had initially planned to stand down at the next election, but a significant event changed her mind, though she did not reveal any details. When asked about reports that the government had removed her from Johnson’s honours list, she stated that a prime minister cannot alter the list of a former prime minister.

She mentioned that a “new life is opening up” for her, including the arrival of a new granddaughter, making it the right time to resign. Dorries expressed relief at her decision, citing her unhappiness with the Tory party’s developments over the past year, including Johnson’s departure as PM and Rishi Sunak’s appointment.

Having served as MP for Mid Bedfordshire since 2005, Dorries is also a best-selling author. During Johnson’s premiership, she was promoted to culture secretary, where she led the now-abandoned plans to privatise Channel 4. Despite expectations that Johnson would nominate her for a peerage, Dorries was not included on the list.

The Times reported that Dorries and former Cop26 president Alok Sharma were removed from the honours list due to concerns about the potential impact of two by-elections on the struggling Tories, who are currently trailing behind Labour in the polls. Both MPs would have had to resign to accept the peerage.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have both announced their intentions to win Dorries’ seat. Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour’s National Campaign Coordinator, stated that the former cabinet minister’s departure demonstrates Rishi Sunak’s inability to lead a Tory Party that has lost interest in the people of Mid Bedfordshire. A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said they are in the race to win the seat, which is located in the heart of the blue wall.

Following Dorries’ announcement, health minister Will Quince also revealed his intention not to contest his seat in the next election. Quince cited his desire to prioritise his family and daughters as they grow up and expressed pride in his team’s achievements and contributions to Colchester. Quince is the 58th current MP to declare their intention not to run in the next election, with 37 of them being serving Conservatives.

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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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