Nadine Dorries has announced she will quit as an MP at the next General Election - adding that the Conservative prospects at that election are ‘terminal’.
Ms Dorries, a close ally of Boris Johnson
, made the announcement on her Talk TV show with the channel releasing a clip pre-broadcast.
She had served in Mr Johnson
’s Cabinet as Culture Secretary and has been a frequent critic of current Tory Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
She said: “Those MPs who drank the Kool-Aid and got rid of Boris Johnson
are already asking themselves the question: who next? And I’m afraid that the lack of cohesion, the infighting and occasionally the sheer stupidity from those who think we could remove a sitting prime minister, who secured a higher percentage of the vote share than Tony Blair did in 1997, just three short years ago…
“That they could do that and the public would let us get away with it. I’m afraid it’s this behaviour that I now just have to remove myself from.
“And so, despite it being a job that I’ve loved for every year that I’ve done it, I’m now off. Oh gosh, I’ve just said it out loud, there’s no going back now.”
She was not the only MP to announce her departure today with one of the Conservative MPs from the 2019 intake saying she will not stand for re-election.
Jo Gideon confirmed in a statement that she will only serve one term in the House of Commons.
Ms Gideon said representing Stoke-on-Trent Central had been the “greatest honour of my life”.
The backbencher faced a tough battle to hold on to her constituency, a seat she won by 670 votes at the last election.
Ms Dorries has prevously rejected reports she could give up her safe seat to make way for Boris Johnson
- and in return for a peerage - as “100% nuclear grade tosh”.
She is reported to have been nominated for a peerage by Mr Johnson
, but said: “I have heard nothing… I’m just getting through the emotional aspect of leaving a job I loved for 19 years.”
She said that the former prime minister had urged her to stay on, saying: “He doesn’t want me to go… he said, ‘Nads stay’.”
Ms Dorries, whose promotion under Mr Johnson
’s leadership saw her lead the now-ditched plan to privatise Channel 4 as culture secretary, also courted controversy during her time as an MP, losing the Conservative whip in 2013 as a result of her appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
She offered a bleak assessment of where the Conservative Party stands ahead of the next election, expected in around 18 months’ time.
“The elite, the faux political intellectuals, you know who I’m talking about – those who believe they know better than anyone else, bet everything on a Rishi bounce… but it never came and it was never going to. The party was five points behind on the day Boris was ousted… and that was a poll deficit that would have burnt away like a summer’s mist on a morning lawn in the heat of a general election campaign.
“Today it’s 24 points behind. And that, my friends, could be described as terminal. It leaves the party boxed into a corner with no exit route.”