Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Outrage over Dorries in jungle show

Tory MP Nadine Dorries has defended her decision to fly out to the I'm A Celebrity jungle

Tory MP Nadine Dorries is facing a barrage of criticism after swapping the political jungle for the Australian bush for up to a month to appear in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The Conservative Party suspended the whip from the 55-year-old, who represents Mid Bedfordshire, after it was announced she was the first serving MP to take part in the programme.

Her stint in the jungle - which could see her missing an EU budget vote and potentially be away for Chancellor George Osborne's mini-budget - caught even her own colleagues off-guard.

Dorries, who earns more than £65,000 as an MP, has flown out to Brisbane to prepare for the show. She also stands to pick up a fee for appearing on the programme.

She justified her decision to take part, telling The Sun: "I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it. If people are watching I'm A Celebrity, that is where MPs should be going. I'm not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions."

Dorries is facing criticism for agreeing to take part in the show. Former Conservative MP Harry Greenway said: "This is outrageous. Her local constituency party should think very deeply as to whether she is putting them first or not.

"Whatever fee she receives should go to charity, because her parliamentary pay won't stop during her absence," he added.

Ex-MP Louise Mensch, who gave up her Corby seat in August to live with her husband in America, said: "Nothing sadder than a politician, or ex-politician, on any of those shows."

The ITV1 series returns to screens on Sunday as the latest intake of contestants are seen entering the jungle camp. Other figures expected to take part in this year's show include actress Linda Robson and ex-Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan, who played Rosie Webster. Darts player Eric Bristow is also said to be taking part.

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