MP in war of words over ‘sexist’ email

A war of words has broken out after Nadine Dorries MP branded a member of Central Beds Council’s Conservative cabinet as ‘cowardly’ and in need of ‘slapping down’.
Nadine Dorries MPNadine Dorries MP
Nadine Dorries MP

The blow-up follows an email sent by Councillor Mark Versallion, executive member for children’s services, to Central Beds’ 21 cabinet members – as well as the Conservative Chief Whip.

Its content criticised the Mid Beds MP’s loyalty to the Conservative Party when she was speaking at a gipsy and traveller meeting in Barton-le-Clay.

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Ms Dorries said: “I am furious that a Conservative councillor is so stupid and so naive that he thinks a MP is only there to assist people who vote Conservative.

“Between elections I am everybody’s MP. I don’t even care what people vote.

“I think it is bullying and it is sexist. If I was a male MP, they would not have written that email, but because I’m female they think they can get away with it. He needed slapping down big time. His reaction is cowardly.”

Mr Versallion’s leaked email branded the MP as displaying the ‘worst examples of a lack of discipline and loyalty’.

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And in response, Councillor Richard Stay, (Caddington ward) also questioned her loyalty to the party by saying “you’re no Tory”.

Ms Dorries recently claimed other Conservative MPs would not accept it if the whip was not restored to her, but the recent outburst has now raised questions over the united front.

Mr Versallion told the H&P: “Politics is a robust business and the exchange of forthright views goes with the territory.

“Naturally I’m disappointed with what she said but we must get used to the fact that she is a former Conservative MP, if this were a Labour MP it wouldn’t be an issue.

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“That said, we work with MPs of any political persuasion for the best interests of Central Bedfordshire. My associations and constituents have been fantastic, but I think Mark Versallion had ambitions.

“I think he might have seen an opportunity when I went into the jungle that he might be able to jump into my shoes.

“Him and a few others are quite angry that the associations in my constituency are massively behind me and I think that has probably brought about a bit of disappointment.

“A few hundred people voted for Mark Versallion. How many people went out and voted for me? Over 28,000.”

Mr Stay declined to comment.