Nadine Dorries: 'Rishi Sunak whipped up a public frenzy which has endangered my safety'

Nadine Dorries has criticised Rishi Sunak in her first TV interview since resigning as an MP - and says the Conservatives can’t win the next election with him as Party leader. 

Ms Dorries formally resigned her parliamentary seat this weekend, 11 weeks after vowing to go, and launched a scathing attack on Mr Sunak as he faces another challenging by-election.

The Tory former minister had announced in June that she would quit the Commons with “immediate effect” in protest at not getting a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, but failed to follow through until now.

She accused the Prime Minister in her resignation letter of betraying Conservative principles and putting her personal safety at risk by whipping up “a public frenzy” against her.

TalkTV's Nick de Bois CBE asked Nadine if she thought the Tories could win with Sunak in charge. She replied, “I have to say my answer to that question is no. I don’t think so. I think it’s very very unlikely.”

Asked if she would vote Conservative in the next election, the TalkTV host said, “You’re asking me a question I don’t want to answer.

However, Ms Dorries threw her support behind the Conservative candidate to replace her in the Mid-Bedfordshire by-election, Festus Akinbusoye.

"He is a fantastic guy and I would urge the people of Mid Bedfordshire to forget about anything to do with Party politics at the moment because it’s a mess and the Conservative Party is broken.

"The one thing my constituents have, have supported me in, and they’ve proven that in my majority gain from 8000 to 25000 over five elections. The one thing they’ve supported me in and they’ve appreciated is the fact I’ve been very outspoken and that’s what the people of Mid Bedfordshire like and they want.”

Ms Dorries also addressed the “public frenzy” directed towards her, saying, “I was absolutely shocked to see that Rishi Sunak over the summer, even knowing that a by-election couldn’t be called because a writ couldn’t be moved, kind of opened up the conversation which whipped up a public frenzy, which has actually endangered my own safety over the past week.” 

Asked if she had received threats, she said, “Yes, the police have been to my home. I was in last contact with the police two days ago, another contact from them and it came to a point where I thought this has got to end now.

"So much has been misrepresented and been put out there that I felt I had to stand up... What was untrue was that I was neglecting my constituents. I love my constituency, my former constituency and constituents. 

“I’ve got a team of four case workers who’ve been working very hard over the summer, as have I, and that’s when most of the work actually takes place. To be criticised for not being in Parliament when it has been an absolute zombie Parliament for the last 12 months I just felt was a bit rich.”

She added, “I don’t know what Rishi Sunak is doing because it didn’t have to be this way. He’s now put the party in the position of having to fight yet another by-election. Why? Why would any Prime Minister will and wish a by-election on his party when his party is 20 points behind in the polls?”

Ms Dorries' resignation will pave the way for a by-election to be held in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency within weeks, causing a headache for Mr Sunak as his party languishes in the polls.