Pressure grows for Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries to go as thousands sign petition calling for change in the law that would force her out

Councillors have written to Nadine Dorries demanding she leave – or resume her duties
Nadine Dorries (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)Nadine Dorries (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Nadine Dorries (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Pressure is increasing on Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries to formally resign from Parliament, with a public petition calling for a change in the law that would force a by-election.

More than 3,600 people have signed a parliamentary petition that seeks to make MPs absent from their constituencies and Parliament subject to recall.

Currently, an MP can only be forced out if they break certain parliamentary rules – and constituents are unable to trigger a by-election themselves.

Now, the three Ampthill Central Bedfordshire councillors have added their voices to the growing clamour for the former government minister to depart Westminster.

Independents Mark Smith and Gary Summerfield, as well as the Green Party’s Susan Clinch have written a personal letter to Ms Dorries, following in the footsteps of similar correspondence to her from Flitwick Town Council.

It reads: “Dear Ms Dorries, As Central Bedfordshire ward councillors covering the communities of Ampthill, Clophill, Maulden and Millbrook in your constituency, we would like to invite you to hold a constituents’ surgery accessible to our residents before the recall of Parliament from the summer recess.

“We understand the last occasion at which local people had the opportunity to meet with you in person and bring their issues to your attention was on March 6th 2020 at the Flitwick Club in our neighbouring ward.

“We note that on your web page, you say: ‘I like to think that, while having developed a reputation as a tough campaigner and fighter on behalf of constituents, they know that I’m just as able with a box of tissues and a big shoulder to cry on’.

“We would appreciate a statement of the constituency issues you’re currently actively engaged in campaigning and fighting on, and an indication of the number of individual constituents with whom you’re engaged with active casework.

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“As ward councillors, we’re repeatedly made aware that residents in our communities feel they’ve had no representation by you as their MP for a significant period of time.

“Their preference is for a rapid resolution through a by-election to enable a new MP, who’ll be physically present in the constituency, to take up the many outstanding issues which have developed during the past three years.

“As you’ve decided not to follow through on your stated intent to resign “with immediate effect” as of June 9th 2023, we respectfully request you resume your duties and take up your responsibilities within the constituency.”

Flitwick Town Council wrote to the Mid Bedfordshire MP last month asking for her to speed up the process of quitting her post.

The local authority’s letter said the last time Ms Dorries spoke in the House of Commons was June 7th 2022, adding that it was “widely understood” she “hadn’t held a surgery in Flitwick since March 2020”.

Ms Dorries won the seat with a majority of 24,664 in 2019. The former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport received criticism for launching a television talk show, Friday Night with Nadine, on Talk TV earlier this year.