Rishi Sunak running a ‘zombie parliament’, UK MP in resignation letter

A prominent supporter of former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially stepped down on Saturday, delivering a scathing critique of her successor in her resignation letter.

Nadine Dorries, a former culture minister, had previously announced her plan to resign 11 weeks ago. During this period, she continued to serve as a member of parliament while looking into the reasons behind her exclusion from the upper house of parliament.

In a letter she shared on social media, Dorries alleged that Sunak had spearheaded assaults against her resulting in “the police having to visit my home and contact me on a number of occasions due to threats to my person.

“The clearly orchestrated and almost daily personal attacks demonstrate the pitifully low level your government has descended to,” she wrote.

“Since you took office a year ago, the country is run by a zombie parliament where nothing meaningful has happened. You have no mandate from the people and the Government is adrift.”

Within her resignation letter, Dorries asserted that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had forsaken, “the fundamental principles of Conservatism” adding “history will not judge you kindly.”

Dorries received an unexpected omission from the list of appointments to the upper chamber of parliament, the House of Lords, in Johnson’s honours list upon his resignation. While fellow Brexit proponents and even individuals linked to the “Partygate” scandal that played a role in his resignation last year were rewarded, Dorries’ absence raised suspicions within Johnson’s circle regarding interference from Sunak and Downing Street.

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Sunak’s spokesperson informed reporters earlier that the assertion that the prime minister or officials expunged names from Johnson’s list before its submission to a House of Lords vetting committee was “completely false.” The dispute over the honours list in June led to the resignations of both Nigel Adams, who was also excluded from the list, and Johnson himself as Members of Parliament. Simultaneously, Dorries disclosed her plan to step down.

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The resignations necessitated by Sunak’s Tories led to the occurrence of by-elections at a period when they were lagging behind the main opposition Labour Party in the polls, just prior to an upcoming general election next year.

As a result of these events, the Conservatives lost Nigel Adams’ parliamentary seat. However, they managed to retain Boris Johnson’s constituency, with assistance from the controversial extension of a vehicle pollution tax to outer London, spearheaded by Labour mayor Sadiq Khan.

(With inputs from AFP)

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Updated: 27 Aug 2023, 12:02 PM IST

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