— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) May 5, 2013
It’s starting to appear “nasty” that the whip has not been restored to @nadinedorriesmp .
— Lord Ashcroft (@LordAshcroft) May 4, 2013
Itâ€™s time to “Free the Mid-Bedfordshire One”
In 2008 the county council in Bedfordshire was abolished so it wasn’t one of the traditional shire counties where there was voting last Thursday.
If there had been elections I’ve little doubt that it would have followed the pattern of elsewhere in eastern England with Ukip making big inroads – particularly in the area covered by the Mid-Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency which, of course, is represented at Westminster by Nadine Dorries.
Exactly six months ago today Nadine was suspended from the parliamentary Conservative party for her much publicised trip to Australia to take part in the TV programme – “I’m a celebrity get me out of here.”
That suspension is still in force and speculation has been revived about her switching to Ukip. Farage was quoted yesterday welcoming such a move which, if it happened now, would add to the ongoing positive narrative about the party.
Over the weekend senior party figures like Lord Ashcroft, David Davis and the editor of ConHome , Paul Goodman, have joined the clamour for Nadine’s punishment to be lifted.
- Davis bitingly contrasted Nadine’s treatment with old-Etonian, Jesse Norman, who rebelled and then got promoted. Nadine, brought up on a Merseyside council estate, is still being hung out to dry.
If Nadine did join the purples she could do immense damage to the Tories. She’s a fierce critic of Cameron and being UKIP’s one MP would provide a platform for ongoing attacks on the PM.
Her constituency is just five minutes from where I live and I know it well. My reading is that she’d have a good chance of holding it for UKIP against an official Conservative candidate at the general election.
This has betting implications. There was an active market on whether she’d switch before the election and, of course, it impacts on how many, if any, MPs Ukip would have.
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