X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Coffee House

How do you solve a problem like Nadine Dorries?

26 November 2012

2:53 PM

26 November 2012

2:53 PM

Nadine Dorries has returned to the UK today, with a meeting between the first evictee of I’m a Celebrity: Get me Out of Here! and the chief whip due soon. Will she remain suspended from the Tory party? Dorries has already rehearsed some of the arguments she presumably plans to present to Sir George Young on her Twitter feed and in an interview with Fraser at the weekend, arguing that she only missed three days when Parliament was actually sitting, and listing other MPs who have taken more time away. She expects to have the Conservative whip restored to her now she has returned.

The whips face a huge challenge in ensuring that their response to Dorries’ absence is proportionate and cannot be misinterpreted. They need to show that stepping out of line is not without consequence, as MPs are like schoolchildren in their need for clear boundaries and examples of where those boundaries lie. I argued back in September that David Cameron and the whips needed to take a leaf out of England cricket coach Andy Flower’s book in the way he dealt with Kevin Pietersen’s misbehaviour (and it was interesting to hear the reinstated KP taking care to praise the ‘united’ England team after scoring 186 runs in the early hours of Sunday morning), and there remains a need for Tory MPs to fear the force of the whips if they do misbehave.

But dealing with Nadine has its own difficulties.  The image of posh boys booting out the working-class mum is potent. Any disciplinary measures cannot be seen to be a revenge from the Prime Minister for the personal beef that he has with Nadine Dorries. She is the one who called the PM and the Chancellor ‘two posh boys who don’t know the price of milk’, and who was humiliatingly slapped down in the Chamber by Cameron, who joked that Dorries was ‘extremely frustrated’. When they suspended the Tory whip from Dorries, the whips ran the risk that the move could be interpreted as a revenge for the bad blood that exists between her and the Prime Minister. The stakes are clearly much higher this time around as they decide whether to restore the whip. The obvious solution would be to allow her constituency party to make the first move instead, which would entirely remove the Tory leadership from the equation if she is deselected.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close