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Defiant Dorries: “I fully expect” to have whip reinstated

With Nadine Dorries currently meeting with the chief whip following her unauthorised excursion to Australia, the Mid Bedforshire MP may still be smarting from her encounter with BBC Look East last night, in which she was forced to watch vox pops of constituents claiming that “she is a joke”.

Anchor Stewart White didn’t mince his words either:

“You wanted to talk about euthanasia. You wanted to talk about abortion. They cut all of that out when you talked about it and instead they broadcast you eating the rear end of an ostrich.”

Scrapbook wonders whether the whips office had the opportunity to review the contents of the interview, in which Dorries appears to prejudge the outcome of the meeting:

“The whip has temporarily been suspended which is very different from being withdrawn.

I’ve got a meeting with the chief whip tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock and I fully expect, once that meeting’s taken place, that everything will be fine.

A temporary suspension was put in because I wasn’t here to vote. It’s not like I’ve done anything which is seriously worthy of withdrawing the whip.”

Chief whip Sir George Young may beg to differ, however.

Could she be kept ‘on the bench’ for several months — as some hard-line Cameroons are suggesting?

I’m A Celebrity: Broadcasting laws will block Dorries’ abortion rants

Ofcom rules will almost certainly foil Nadine Dorries’ plan to use I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here as a platform to promote her views on abortion.

The Mid-Bedfordshire MP had claimed that the show will be a better forum than parliament to air her advocacy of reducing abortion time limits from 24 to 20 weeks:

“I’m doing the show because 16 million people watch it. Rather than MPs talking to other MPs about issues in Parliament, I think MPs should be going to where people go.

 “I’m not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions. There are certain causes that I’m interested in, one of which is ’20 Weeks’.

 “I will be talking about this issue around the campfire. I hope there will be some lively, heated debates.”

But having been elected in 2005, Dorries is apparently unfamiliar with the Communications Act 2003, which sets out legal requirements for impartiality that will almost certainly scupper Dorries’ desire for fireside pro-life propaganda. As Ofcom’s states programmes must adhere to ‘due impartiality’:

Impartiality itself means not favouring one side over another. “Due” means adequate or appropriate to the subject and nature of the programme.

Included in the impartiality requirements are:

“matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy”

which Ofcom defines as:

“political or industrial issues on which politicians, industry and/or the media are in debate.”

Dorries has fallen into the same trap as George Galloway, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and gave synonymous reasons for entering on the show:

“I believe that politicians should use every opportunity to communicate with people, I’m a great believer in the democratic process. Big Brother is watched by millions.”

Although the official line up is yet to be announced, Dorries has already flown to Australia – after only realising three weeks ago she actually had to go to a real jungle.

Scrapbook nevertheless looks forward to the ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ which, for those unfamiliar with the format, involves contestants eating fare such as witchetty grubs, live beachworms and, errr, kangaroo testicles.

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