'Dosser Dorries Bill': Plan underway to force Nadine Dorries by-election

Credit: PA

A plan is underway to remove Nadine Dorries as an MP more than two months after she said she was resigning with "immediate effect".

The Liberal Democrats plan to table what they are calling the "Dosser Dorries Bill", which will propose she is suspended for 10 days if she doesn't show up to Parliament when it reopens on September 14, which would set the wheels in motion for a by-election if MPs support it.

Ms Dorries said she was quitting immediately on June 9, along with Boris Johnson, in protest at what she says was Rishi Sunak's move to block her from a peerage.

The former culture secretary, who has held her Commons seat since 2005, has not spoken in Parliament in 414 days. Her last contribution was on July 7, the day Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister.

Lib Dem Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper, who will table to motion, said Ms Dorries is treating her Mid Bedfordshire constituents with "contempt and taken them for granted".

If MPs back the bill and agree to suspend Ms Dorries for 10 days, that will trigger a recall petition which would allow her constituents to call a by election if 10% of them agree.

Ms Cooper said: “For months Nadine Dorries has treated the people of Mid Bedfordshire with contempt and taken them for granted. 

“As thousands of people struggle to get a GP appointment and face steep hikes to their mortgages, Nadine Dorries continues to be missing in action. What’s worse is that the Conservatives just don’t seem to care that they’re letting people down. 

“We need an end to this sorry saga, once and for all. Nadine Dorries must resign, if not then this government must do the right thing and force her to.

"Every day that Rishi Sunak sits on his hands the people across Mid Bedfordshire are being failed.” 

Several of her Conservative colleagues have called on Ms Dorries to quit, including ministers, as have two of her local councils and Labour.

A plan to remove her and any other absentee MPs was backed by the chair of the Commons standards committee.

Labour MP Chris Bryant said an old rule preventing MPs from going "out of town without leave of the house" should be reinstated.

He said it would be a "perfectly legitimate" process, which he outlined in his new book 'Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament - and How to Do It'.

“If the House nominated you, you had to attend. Thus when William Smith O’Brien refused to serve on a railway committee in 1846, the House had him detained overnight in the Clock Tower cell," he wrote

”A 10-day Commons suspension would trigger a recall petition, giving Dorries’ local constituents the chance to vote for a by-election.”

On Monday Mr Sunak's official spokesman was asked if he would back a move in Parliament to force Ms Dorries to step down.

“I think you’ve heard from a number of ministers on this already. I don’t think I’ve much to add beyond what we’ve said before,” he told reporters.

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