Nadine Dorries has confirmed she is stepping down as an MP – after weeks of criticism for her failure to do so.
In June, the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire announced she was resigning with “immediate effect” in protest at not receiving a peerage but then refused to formally step down, claiming she would only do so once she received “answers” from Downing Street.
Ms Dorries has been accused of “abandoning” her constituents in Parliament despite remaining in her role and continuing to receive her taxpayer-funded salary of £86,584. She has not spoken in the Commons for 415 days and has voted only six times so far this year.
But she confirmed on Saturday that she intends to quit on 4 September – days after the Liberal Democrats said they would try and use Parliamentary procedures to oust her.
In a resignation letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Ms Dorries hit out at critics, insisting: “Despite what some in the media and you yourself have implied, my team of caseworkers and I have continued to work for my constituents faithfully and diligently to this day.”
The letter decried the “political assassination of Boris Johnson” and claimed that “the most powerful figures in the land” were lined up against her, adding: “Remaining as a back bencher was incompatible with publishing a book which exposes how the democratic process at the heart of our party has been corrupted.”
She also unleashed personal attacks on Mr Sunak, claiming he was behind criticism of her conduct.
Ms Dorries said: “The clearly orchestrated and almost daily personal attacks demonstrates the pitifully low level your Government has descended to.
“It is a modus operandi established by your allies which has targeted Boris Johnson, transferred to Liz Truss and now moved on to me. But I have not been a Prime Minister. I do not have security or protection. Attacks from people, led by you, declared open season on myself and the past weeks have resulted in the police having to visit my home and contact me on a number of occasions due to threats to my person.
“Since you took office a year ago, the country is run by a zombie Parliament where nothing meaningful has happened. What exactly has been done or have you achieved? You hold the office of Prime Minister unelected, without a single vote, not even from your own MPs. You have no mandate from the people and the Government is adrift. You have squandered the goodwill of the nation, for what?”
She added: “I shall take some comfort from explaining to people exactly how you and your allies achieved this undemocratic upheaval in my book.”
The Liberal Democrats have vowed to mount a challenge in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency, which has returned a Tory MP at every election since 1931 and where Ms Dorries won nearly 60 per cent of the vote in 2019.
The party had been pushing for Ms Dorries to step down, with plans to put forward a motion in the Commons to give MPs the chance to vote in favour of her dismissal if she did not do so.
Deputy leader Daisy Cooper had said she would table a motion on the first day that Parliament returns on Monday 4 September, demanding Ms Dorries returns to the Commons by Thursday 14 September or face a 10-day suspension, triggering a recall petition.
Speaking about her party’s plans prior to the announcement, Ms Jardine added: “There will be no deals, no pacts, we will be targeting the seats that we believe that we can win and if we believe we can win Mid Bedfordshire, which we do, then we will be doing everything we can to ensure that the people get a good MP and a local champion.
“It’s nothing to do with the Labour Party. They will target the seats that they think they can win and we will target the ones that we can win and if those are Labour seats, then we will be going up against the Labour Party. There is no deal and there will be no deal.”