Nadine Dorries has spoken exclusively to the Times & Citizen about her controversial decision to take part in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
Nadine claimed that the show would be an opportunity to discuss causes close to her heart, including her campaign to reduce the abortion limit to 20 weeks and her support for London Mayor Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister.
She also wants to raise awareness of issues closer to home such as the protest against the Ampthill lapdancing club.
Last week Nadine’s abortion proposals failed to make headway in the House Of Commons after she secured a debate on the subject.
The MP, who flew to Brisbane to take part in the show last Sunday, told me on Friday: “I can use I’m A Celebrity as a platform to talk about 20 weeks and Boris to 16million people.
“I think the subject of lapdancing clubs and the erosion of society might just be one of those campfire subjects too.
“However we are filmed for 24 hours a day and they will only take a minute or two of what we’ve said.”
She added: “Because I campaign on 20 weeks, so much of what I do is distorted by the extreme zealots online and on the internet, and I see this as a good way of bursting through that too.”
But Nadine hoped that her constituents in Mid Bedfordshire would support her during her time on the show.
She said: “I’ve no idea how people are going to react because you can’t prejudge things, but I know most of my constituents in Mid Bedfordshire will be reasonable and level-headed about it.
“Mid Bedfordshire people are very down to earth, reasonable people and that’s why I love being an MP in this constituency. We have very few problems and most people are just hard-working and decent.
“The people of Mid Bedfordshire know that their MP isn’t just a pinstripe suit with two kids. And I think they quite enjoy it as well.”
Nadine will go into the jungle along with 12 other celebrities as part of a launch show which airs on Sunday night.
Her decision to become the first serving MP to go into the jungle, has sparked outrage among her critics. but Nadine claimed that the challenge is no different to than when other MPs take parliamentary trips.
She said: “Alistair Burt is a very hard-working constituency MP, but in his ministerial role he has had 20 weeks abroad this year.
“Most MPs take parliamentary trips during the year and in seven years I have never taken one.”
She added: “I have taken three trips, two to Israel and the Middle East for briefings, and one to Equatorial Guinea to see how children there live, but those were taken during holiday time. Most of the year I work seven days a week.”
And Nadine claimed that any criticism of her decision would be unfair: “Would they say that to Alistair Burt when he goes abroad each week? Being a minister and an MP is two jobs and he does them both very well.
“But do they say when he is in Qatar for weeks that he is neglecting his constituency?”
Yesterday it was revealed that Nadine’s jungle pals will include Birds Of A Feather actress Linda Robson, comedian Brian Conley and Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan.
And the MP thinks she will get on with most of her campmates.
She said: “I’ve got three young adult daughters, and being a mum I don’t see relating to young people as being an issue; it will just be like going from home to home.”
She added: “One of the difficult things for me would be camping with anyone who displays prejudices or misogynistic or chauvinistic behaviour. But I’m going to have to learn how to deal with it because I will have to live with them.”
Nadine also believes that she will be first to be voted out of the jungle camp. She said: “I am expecting to be the first out because everyone hates politicians.
“We are a lightning rod for hatred and there’s going to be lots of lovely celebrities that everyone knows in there.
She added: “Politics has changed because of the internet and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and the way politicians interact with people has to change too.
“We live as politicians in a celebrity culture and we have to embrace that. You can sneer at it if you want but if you do you are sneering at 16million people who watch it and embrace it.”