Rishi Sunak rejects bid to oust Nadine Dorries as MP for refusing to turn up

709     0
Nadine Dorries has not spoken in Parliament for longer than a year (Image: Getty Images)
Nadine Dorries has not spoken in Parliament for longer than a year (Image: Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak has rejected calls for Nadine Dorries to be forced out of Parliament for failing to turn up.

Labour ’s Sir Chris Bryant has suggested MPs could attempt to oust the former Culture Secretary if she is absent for six months.

Ms Dorries announced in June she was quitting Parliament with immediate effect after she was snubbed for a peerage. But eight weeks later, she still hasn’t formally resigned as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire.

The ex-Cabinet minister has not spoken in Parliament for longer than a year. Her last contribution was on July 7, which was the day Boris Johnson announced he would resign as PM. Ms Dorries last voted in April this year.

Sir Chris, who is chair of the standards committee, has suggested she could be sanctioned if she still has not voted by October 26, which will mark six months since she last did.

Teachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decade eideziqkeiqhhinvTeachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decade
Rishi Sunak rejects bid to oust Nadine Dorries as MP for refusing to turn upRishi Sunak is not backing to attempt to remove Nadine Dorries despite criticising her absence (@LBC/Twitter)

Under his proposals, a motion could be tabled requiring her to attend the Commons on a certain date. If she failed to do so this could be considered a "contempt of Parliament", which could be punished with a suspension. If MPs approved a suspension of 10 days or more this would give her constituents the opportunity to trigger a by-election.

Rishi Sunak last week warned that Ms Dorries’ constituents are not being “properly represented” as he criticised her absence. He argued that voters deserved to have an MP "that represents them wherever they are". "That's the job of an MP and all MPs should be held to that standard," he told LBC.

But Downing Street last night rejected Sir Chris’s suggested plan for MPs to try and force Ms Dorries from Parliament. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “It’s first and foremost for constituents to make that judgement about whether their respective MPs are serving their constituencies.” He added: “I’m not aware of any plans on the Government’s part to introduce that power. It is for the British people to make that decision about whether they are well served by their MPs.”

A poll last month found Labour is on course to overturn the 24,664 Conservative majority in Mid Bedfordshire if there is a by-election. It has been held by the Tories since 1931.

* Follow Mirror Politics on Snapchat, Tiktok, Twitter and Facebook.

John Stevens

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus