Nadine Dorries told TalkTV "something significant" had happened to change her mind
Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries has stepped down as an MP with immediate effect, just hours after saying she would stay on until the next election.
The move will trigger a by-election in her constituency of Mid Bedfordshire and comes after months of speculation that the former culture secretary was to be handed a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.
But Ms Dorries was not included on the list when it was published at 5pm on Friday, an hour after she tweeted her resignation.
Earlier in the day Ms Dorries had told TalkTV she was not planning on stepping down and triggering a by-election but, after tweeting her decision, she said she had changed her mind.
Asked by presenter Vanessa Feltz why she had decided to quit, Ms Dorries said: "I can't reveal everything. Something significant did happen to change my mind... and I think it's for the best."
She refused to offer further details, but added: "I'm not altogether comfortable with the way the party has conducted itself over the last year.
"I'm not happy with the events that took place removing Boris Johnson."
At about 4pm, Ms Dorries tweeted: “I have today informed the chief whip that I am standing down as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, with immediate effect.
“It has been an honour to serve as the MP for such a wonderful constituency but it is now time for someone younger to take the reins.”
Hours before her dramatic announcement, Ms Dorries told TalkTV that “the last thing I would want to do would be to cause a by-election” in her seat.
Speaking to the broadcaster, where she hosts a talk show, on Friday morning, Ms Dorries said she had not heard anything but did not expect to be entering the Lords “any time soon”.
“I know nothing,” she said. “There is a process and the last thing I would want to do would be to cause a by-election in my constituency. I don’t believe I will be going into the House of Lords any time soon.”
Ms Dorries won 60% of the vote in the constituency of Mid Bedfordshire at the 2019 general election, well ahead of Labour in second place on 22%.
She increased her majority in Mid Bedfordshire from 20,983 in 2017 to 24,664 in 2019, with a swing of 2.4% from Labour to the Conservatives.
Ms Dorries, who has been an MP since 2005, has been a vocal critic of Mr Sunak’s government since he entered No 10 and is set to release a book on the downfall of former prime minister Mr Johnson.
Her promotion to culture secretary under Mr Johnson’s leadership saw her lead the now-ditched plan to privatise Channel 4.
She was no stranger to controversy during her time in Parliament, losing the Conservative whip in 2013 as a result of her appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know