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Nadine Dorries Joins I'm A Celebrity
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries could face a backlash from her constituents after heading to Australia for up to a month to take part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
Ms Dorries, 55, who represents Mid Bedfordshire, is risking the anger of those she represents for taking extended leave from her £65,738-a-year day job and has also faced questions from senior MPs.
Ms Dorries' appearance on the show, which begins on Sunday, means she stands to miss an EU budget vote and Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement on the economy.
She is already in Brisbane preparing for the programme and justified her decision by telling The Sun: "I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it. If people are watching I'm A Celebrity, that is where MPs should be going.
"I'm not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions."
Her decision will infuriate senior colleagues as she did not follow long-standing party rules by asking permission from the Chief Whip or Prime Minister David Cameron.
A senior Conservative source told Sky News: "This came as a surprise to everyone."
Asked about Ms Dorries' decision during his tour of the Middle East, the Prime Minister said: "It's up to Nadine to speak for herself."
When asked if she risked losing the party whip, he joked: "The whips might be relieved if she did."
Home Secretary Theresa May told ITV's This Morning: "I think an MP's job is in their constituency and in the House of Commons."
Ms Dorries' sojourn in the jungle has attracted criticism on Twitter and calls for her to donate any fee to charity.
Former Tory MP Harry Greenway, said: "This is outrageous. Her local constituency party should think very deeply as to whether she is putting them first or not.
"She is certainly making a very good case for herself to be dumped as a candidate at the next election.
"Whatever fee she receives should go to charity, because her parliamentary pay won't stop during her absence."
Former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who gave up her Corby seat in August to live with her husband in America, wrote: "Nothing sadder than a politician, or ex-politician, on any of those shows.
"Just imagining the scene in the whips' office if I said I wanted to skip Parliament for weeks to go on a celebrity TV show."
Ms Dorries mocked Ms Mensch for her decision to leave politics and accused her of being "void of principle" in a blog in August.
The MP has also courted controversy in her political career and earned a reputation for outspoken attacks against David Cameron.
Earlier this year she branded the Prime Minister and chancellor George Osborne as "two posh boys who don't know the price of milk".
In 2010, Ms Dorries appeared on another reality show, Tower Block of Commons, which challenged politicians to live on a council estate and get by on jobseekers' allowance of £64.30-a-week.
But she was caught cheating when it emerged she had stashed a £50 note in her bra.
Although she is the first serving MP to appear on I'm A Celebrity, Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik appeared on the show shortly after losing his seat in the 2010 general election.
He backed Ms Dorries' decision, tweeting: "Good on Nadine Dorries for the jungle if she's really going in. Go gal!"
George Galloway was heavily criticised for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in January 2006, while serving as the†MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.
MP Tim Montgomerie, the editor of Conservative Home, wrote: "When, some months ago, Nadine told me, in strictest confidence, that she was going to do this I tried to persuade her not to.
"But she wasn't for budging and I can increasingly understand why.
"Her ambition isn't, of course, to persuade any of the viewers about specific policies (she's unlikely to get any opportunity to talk in those terms) but perhaps, just perhaps, to present an image of a Tory MP that defies some of the popular pre-conceptions and caricatures.
"She may be voted off the show quickly and the popularity that follows her appearance may be a bubble that quickly bursts.
"There is a possibility, however, that this Liverpudlian of working class roots will become one of our party's best-known MPs.
"I don't think that's a bad thing - although I don't suspect David Cameron will agree."
what do you think?
they should freeze her mps salary whilst she is not available for her constituents, then find a new candidate to replace her at the next election. preferably refuse her leave to go on the show. end of.
Moves are afoot for her to lose her job. Also she is taking her unpaid holiday.... dont know if this is true though.
SHE IS NOT A CELEBRITY - LEAVE HER THERE.
The TaxPayers' Alliance told The Sun: "While she is being a Z-list celebrity, her constituents will be without an MP." Theyll be better off with out her then
Because she is a z list celebrity?? What are you on about.
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She should home sorting the massive financial problems that Britain faces, as well holding onto her job
why do people watch this drivel.a none or fading celeb trying to get back into the limelight,,and the only way these hasbeans do this is for the money.,,i will take 100.000£ for being a idiot for a week. T.V. i some times think that the people running it thinks we are all sheep.. just look at x factor people vote but the dont care they run it to suit what they want...as for this show geting the xmas number 1 no chance
Here here'i'm still convinced it is this country somewhere absolute drivel
She's trying to up her own profile. Anything she says about benefiting the Tories is lies, this is all about her
Yep. Up her profile and her already bloated bank account. Don't they each get £50,000 for appearing in that show? If I was one of her constituents, I would feel cheated. While some people are being thrown on the dole, or scraping along on measly benefits, this con woman is way out of touch and way out of order. They should leave her in the jungle.
Tv is bad full stop- but these kinds of programmes rot our brains. Should come with a hazard warning- 'this programme will make you stupid'
Not all Tv is bad
Which tv isn't bad?
Downton abbey isn't bad, or Family guy.
Good for distracting you from reality yes.
TV is not bad for you, providing you only watch what entertains YOU!! I avoid shows like this, as well as soaps and most drama's as all they contain is swear words and so on........if you don't like it don't watch it...simples :O)
'How Britain Worked' with Guy Martin. Now there's a good hour spent.
I thought this woman already had a job?. She is being paid over £65.000 a year to be an MP and should repay some of her salary to the taxpayer if she wants to take part in this ludicrous programme. Surely she should be looking after her constituents instead of appearing in this riciculous pantomime?. To think she had the audacity to criticise Louise Mensch for giving up her seat in the Commons. Who is "void of principle" now Ms Dorries???
It just shows how serious the gobsmiths consider their "jobs" in Parliament, horrible people.
Come on guys--give her a break- she will be far more use on Get Me Out of Here than as a politician. The country is in need of a good laugh--unfortunately it looks as though it will be at our expense.
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shows how much contempt some mps have for the people who voted them into the job to represent them but hey theres always a chance she will get bitten or stung by the many poisonous animals in oz
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Wow!!....... Stop the world!!!...... How outrageous!!!.... Someone has dared to have some fun!! Good for her!! If that's her way of using the media to get her point of view across of something that she feels passionately about, then power to her :-) If you don't like it, then I suggest you either get a life or get a new remote for the TV!!....Simples :-))
she will be doing it purely for financial gain, and to make herself famous
Personally my friend, I couldn't care less what she does in her own time. She is however, being paid to do a job of work (over £65,000) by the taxpayers and I expect her to do it!!. If any other worker pulled a stunt like this, they would be instantly sacked. Now there's a thought.................
if she does go, everyone vote her out first
The programs for zombies made by zombies staring zombies and watched by zombies
she should be sacked as an mp
I am very pleased to hear tht Miliband and Labour called it shameful, they are so right. What is really shameful is that the vacuous Miliband and Labour do not have a single policy or constructive comment on the economy, education, the health service, crime or foreign policy. Yet they are so very good at comment on very minor issues that might win them some populist votes.