LONDON (AP) — British Conservative lawmaker Nadine Dorries stepped down from the House of Commons on Saturday, more than two months after announcing she was quitting in the wake of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own resignation from Parliament.
Dorries, who served as culture secretary in Johnson’s government, left with a broadside against Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whom Johnson and his allies blame for helping to topple the former leader.
In a resignation letter published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Dorries accused Sunak of presiding over “a zombie Parliament where nothing meaningful has happened.” She also accused him of helping to “whip up a public frenzy” against her.
Dorries is the latest in a string of political departures linked to Johnson, who quit as a lawmaker in June after a parliamentary ethics committee found he had lied about rule-flouting parties in his office during the coronavirus pandemic. Johnson branded the probe a “witch hunt.”
Johnson's Conservative Party forced him to quit as prime minister a year earlier after he became embroiled in “partygate” and other scandals.
The ethics committee criticized Dorries and other Johnson allies for allegedly trying to interfere with its investigation and “undermine procedures of the House of Commons."
When Johnson resigned from the Commons, Dorries and another loyalist lawmaker announced they would also resign immediately and trigger special elections. Dorries did not go through with it, and her delay irked many fellow Conservatives.
Dorries has also accused Sunak of blocking her appointment to the House of Lords, Parliament’s upper chamber, a claim Sunak denied.
She used her resignation statement Saturday to attack Sunak, who is also a Conservative, saying “history will not judge you kindly.” Johnson’s allies blame Sunak for helping to oust the former prime minister by resigning from the Cabinet in July 2022.
Dorries accused Sunak, rather than the scandal-tainted Johnson, of leaving the Conservative Party lagging as much as 20 points behind the opposition Labour Party in opinion polls and facing an “electoral tsunami” in the next national election.
Her departure will trigger a special election for the Mid-Bedfordshire seat in the House of Commons.
Dorries, a former nurse and romance novelist who served in Parliament for 18 years, plans to write a book on what she calls the “political assassination” of Boris Johnson.