Nadine Dorries fails to meet resignation deadline to trigger by-election

Nadine Dorries has failed to meet the deadline to resign for a by-election to take place in her constituency before Parliament goes into summer recess.

Ms Dorries said she will stand down from her Mid Bedfordshire seat on June 9 after the release of the Partygate report.

Despite pledging to stand down, she is yet to formally do so, meaning a by-election has not been triggered as she would have needed to have put a writ to the returning officer by June 21.

The former cabinet minister has reportedly refused to resign until she receives more information about why she was denied a peerage in Boris Johnosn’s honours list.

The 66-year-old MP from Liverpool was promised a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list but was denied by the Sunak Government.

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A staunch ally of Boris Johnson, Ms Dorries held several positions in the former PM’s cabinet, most notably as the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Ms Dorries has been mired in controversy in the past, namely with her decision to take part in the reality TV programme ‘I’m a Celebrity …. Get me Out of Here’ in 2012 which resulted in her losing the Conservative whip.

She was reinstated a year later despite calls from senior Tory MPs such as George Osborne who objected for her to sit as a Conservative MP again.

Shortly after regaining the whip, Ms Dorries floated the idea of joining UKIP to highlight her anti-EU views further but went against it in the end.

One local from Ampthill in the heart of Ms Dorries seat, did not appear phased at her departure, telling The i: “She had that [TalkTV] show and was on I’m a Celeb, but I can’t remember ever hearing her talking about the problems in the area.”

Another told the publication that the former cabinet minister was “useless” and a “rubbish local MP”. Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey added that he was “certain” his party would see victory in Ms Dorries’s seat in a by-election.

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He told The i: “This is a moment for the people in Bedfordshire to send a message that they want a local champion. They want someone who knows the area, who is going to be fighting their case and has got their backs… they do not think Nadine Dorries has their back.

“The thing that the Tories sometimes fail to understand is we can turn protest votes into positive votes. I have a sense this is that type of moment, I don’t have a sense of the Tories clawing their way back at the next election.”

If Ms Dorries resigns during this month, it could still be possible for a by-election to take place over the summer. Mid Bedfordshire has been held by the Tories for nearly 100 years, with Ms Dorries being the MP for the past 18 years.

Central Bedfordshire Council, which would put on the election, said it was not able to comment “as the election date will be dependent on when the vacancy occurs”.

Despite the controversy around Ms Dorries having “completely given up” on the job, polling suggests that the Conservatives will hold the seat, with their current candidate Festus Akinbusoye having an 8.9 percent lead in the polls.

Rishi Sunak will deal with three other by-elections on July 20 after the resignations of his predecessor Boris Johnson, David Warburton, and Nigel Adams.

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