UK Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to investigate Nadine Dorries reality TV appearance
Thursday, November 8, 2012
is to face an investigation by the over her decision to appear on the show . Earlier this week, the chief whip suspended the (expelled her from the party) until she returns to the United Kingdom.
Today on's , defended the suspension of the whip: "The chief whip took the view – and I back this completely – that she had made the decision to go out and do this programme and that meant she couldn't be in parliament, she couldn't represent her constituents and I think people do expect MPs to be doing either one or two of those things, particularly when parliament is sitting".
Dorries is to appear on the show alongside a variety of actors and actresses, sportsmen and entertainers includingfrom , from , from , from , from , (formerly of the ), darts champion , boxer and comedian . Dorries could earn 40,000 from her appearance and could potentially spend up to a month away in Australia. The show features a variety of challenges including "gross-out" segments where the celebrity participants eat things such as insects, kangaroo testicles, and crocodile penises.
Dorries has defended her appearance on the show, telling theearlier in the week: "I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it. Rather than MPs talking to other MPs about issues in Parliament, I think MPs should be going to where people go. I'm not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions. There are certain causes that I'm interested in, one of which is '20 Weeks'" (a reference to her view that the legal limit for abortion should be reduced from 24 to 20 weeks). "I will be talking about this issue around the campfire. I hope there will be some lively, heated debates."
Dorries later stated that her participation in the show would allow people to see that normal people can be politicians. "A lot of people don't vote and if they can see I am a normal mother who comes from a poor background and who didn't go to a posh school, they may think they can be a politician too. Maybe they will trust us more."
HAVE YOUR SAY
Should elected representatives appear on reality television shows?
A variety of political figures have criticised Dorries for choosing to go on the show. The health secretarysaid: "A lot of people are very worried about it. And I think we want MPs where they should be, voting in the House of Commons." wrote an editorial for lambasting Dorries: "Eating grubs and performing humiliating tasks on air are not consistent with being an MP – unless you're retired, or desperate."
The retired MP, who appeared while an MP in and, after retiring, in , called the suspension "loony": "Why on earth couldn't they have said it is a matter between Dorries and her constituents and left it at that? Silly, silly idiots."
On, Conservative MPs have reacted, with making a joke at Dorries's expense: "I'm not fit to be an MP – kick me out of here".
- Hélène Mulholland. "David Cameron defends decision to suspend Nadine Dorries" — , November 8, 2012
- "Nadine Dorries suspension over jungle row right, says Cameron" — , November 8, 2012
- Matt Chorley. "Exclusive: Nadine Dorries faces probe by parliamentary watchdog as she says going on I'm A Celebrity is 'like being a Foreign Office minister'" — , November 8, 2012
- "I'm a Celebrity lineup revealed" — , November 7, 2012
- Hélène Mulholland and Nicholas Watt. "Nadine Dorries says I'm a Celebrity trip will be a relief for David Cameron" — , November 7, 2012
- Louise Mensch. "Nadine Dorries has demeaned the role of an MP" — , November 7, 2012
- "Nadine Dorries suspended as Tory MP in I'm a Celebrity row" — , November 6, 2012