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Nadine Dorries urged to quit as MP by council in her constituency

Call for ex-minister to stand down comes nearly two months after she vowed to leave ‘with immediate effect’

Nadine Dorries faces calls to ‘do the right thing’ and step aside to give Mid Bedfordshire constituents representation at Westminster. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A council in Nadine Dorries’s constituency is demanding that she immediately resign as an MP, saying “residents desperately need effective representation now”.

The former culture secretary announced on 9 June that she was standing down as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire “with immediate effect”, but she has yet to formally resign.

In a letter to Dorries, posted on Twitter, Flitwick town council said “concerns and frustration about the situation” had been raised at a recent meeting, and councillors wanted her to “immediately vacate” her seat to allow a byelection.

The council’s town clerk, Stephanie Stanley, wrote: “Rather than representing constituents, the council is concerned that your focus appears to have been firmly on your television show, upcoming book and political manoeuvres to embarrass the government for not appointing you to the House of Lords”.

Stanley claimed that the MP had not maintained a constituency office “for a considerable time”, adding that it was widely understood that she had not held a surgery in the town since March 2020.

The town mayor and councillor, Andy Snape, said demands were growing in the community for Dorries to “do the right thing rather than continue to hold the people of Mid Bedfordshire to ransom while she plays political games for personal gain”.

Snape also criticised her for living in the Cotswolds rather than in her constituency.

In a statement on social media, he added: “It’s the job of our MP to represent the views of Mid Bedfordshire constituents in parliament and hold the government accountable, pushing for positive changes to policy and legislation. In my personal opinion, Dorries hasn’t done this.

“Her focus appears to be firmly on her TalkTV show, her new Daily Mail column, and, more recently, her upcoming tell-all book and exerting as much pressure as possible to embarrass the government into giving her a peerage.

“Regardless of your political viewpoint, Mid Bedfordshire residents desperately need representation at Westminster. It’s time for Dorries to put Mid Bedfordshire first and let someone else have a go.”

Downing Street has previously acknowledged that it was “unusual” Nadine Dorries had not formally resigned despite having said she would quit as an MP.

Asked if there was frustration over the delay, the prime minister’s press secretary said last month: “It’s obviously unusual to have an MP say they will resign with immediate effect and for that not to take place.”

Dorries is a waste of space and taxpayers money.

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