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Nadine Dorries Resigns As Culture Secretary Despite Offer To Stay In Post

Nadine Dorries announced she was stepping down as Culture Secretary (Alamy)

3 min read

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has resigned from her role in government following Boris Johnson's departure, despite an offer from new Prime Minister Liz Truss to keep stay in the post.

The senior Conservative MP confirmed her return to the backbenches in a letter to Johnson on Tuesday morning, and said she had made the decision to quit after "much reflection". 

But she expressed her loyalty for the new PM, and said she was "delighted" at Truss' election, who she believed would be a "worthy successor" in Downing Street.

"I am humbled that your successor has extended her confidence in me by asking me to remain as Secretary of State for DCMS," she wrote.

"However, after much reflection, I am writing to you to resign. 

"I have personally assured our soon-to-be Prime Minister that I will be better placed to support her from outside of the Cabinet."

It is widely expected that Dorries will be handed a seat in the House of Lords in Boris Johnson's resignation honours list, triggering a by-election battle for the Mid-Bedfordshire seat she has held since 2005.

Dorries, a key Johnson ally during his scandal-ridden final months in Downing Street, thanked the outgoing Prime Minister for his "trust, friendship, and your optimism and belief in us all".

Her decision to quit comes after Truss hinted that changes could be made to the government's flagship Online Safety Bill which has been championed by Dorries despite concerns among some Conservative MPs that it could limit free speech.

Referencing the legislation, she said when she arrived in the department the plans had been "kicked into the long grass".

"We picked it up, we ran with it and I am proud that we have a Bill which will hold tech giants to account and protect the lives of millions of children and young people," she wrote.

"The eyes of the world are on this Bill and we, the UK, are leading the way."

There will also now be questions over whether the proposed privatisation of Channel 4, a flagship Dorries policy that has been met with fierce opposition in some circles, will go ahead. 

Dorries also paid tribute to civil servants and ministers in the department, who she said had "worked tirelessly" to deliver the government's plans.

She added: "I know they will continue to work with dedication to deliver meaningful and positive change for the public. They are fueled completely by the desire to provide better for those who need it and I leave the department so inspired."

On Monday fellow Johnson ally Priti Patel announced she was resigning as Home Secretary, with former Attorney General Suella Braverman widely expected to replace her.

Patel said it had been the "honour of my life" to serve in the role, but said she would step down once Liz Truss took over as Prime Minister.

Writing to Johnson, she said: "Under your leadership, we have made our country safer, strengthened law and order, delivered our manifesto commitments, and laid strong foundations for our successors at Number 10 and in the Home Office to build on."

Truss is set to make announcements on her new Cabinet shortly after returning from meeting the Queen in Balmoral where she will formally accept her role as Prime Minister.

But the incoming PM has already made major changes to the Number 10 operation, sacking several key Boris Johnson staff members and replacing them with members of her own team.

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