According to a new report, Nadine Dorries sent a “strong” message to the UK’s top official, asking to be included on Liz Truss’ resignation list.
The former culture secretary was reported to both the Chief Whip and the Commons Speaker over the message sent to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case after she was barred from a peerage on Boris Johnson’s list.
In a WhatsApp message from Ms Dorries to Mr Case, he was asked if her inclusion on Ms Truss’s as yet undisclosed list could grant her a title of peerage The times.
The contact came to light during a hearing of the Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs on Wednesday, when Mr Case confirmed he had sought legal advice on the news.
Senior Tory MP William Wragg asked Mr Case, the country’s most senior official, if he was aware of the “rather urgent communications” Ms Dorries had sent to senior officials.
The committee chairman also accused Ms Dorries of “threatening” to “use the House of Commons platform and even her own TV show to find out why she was not given a peerage”.
Mr Case said he was “aware of these communications and reported them to both chief executives.” [Simon Hart] and Speaker of the House of Representatives [Sir Lindsay Hoyle]“.
Asked whether the Honors (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 “could come into play”, Mr Case said he was seeking “further advice on the matter”, adding: “I took the first advice, but for more asked.”
The Independent is aware that although legal advice was sought to determine whether Mrs Dorries’ messages broke the 1925 Act, officers concluded that Mrs Dorries had not broken the law.
It remains uncertain whether the Chief Whip or Commons Speaker could investigate further and sanction the senior MP.
A friend of Mrs Dorries told it The times: “This is complete nonsense. She was probably upset that day with the way she was treated, but she’s not aggressive. She was very badly served.”
Mr Wragg identified Ms Dorries as the ‘remaining’ member for Mid-Bedfordshire. Many Tory MPs are frustrated that they have not managed to officially step down despite announcing over a month ago that she would be leaving Parliament with immediate effect.
Johnson’s arch-loyalty has warned Mr Sunak that she will not officially resign until the government releases documents related to the decision to deny her the peerage as part of the former PM’s resignation honors.
Liberal Democrats have urged Rishi Sunak to ensure Ms Dorries’ Tory politics are suspended. The party’s deputy leader, Daisy Cooper, said the allegations of threatening messages were “staggering” and that a “speedy investigation” was needed.
It was announced on Wednesday that Ms Dorries’ book on the “political assassination” of Mr Johnson is due to be published just days before the Tory conference in the autumn. The Tory MP hinted that she had uncovered more sinister forces within her own party “for decades”.