Dorries quits as Truss takes over as PM

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has announced her resignation from her cabinet post, overseeing charity, digital and media policy, as Liz Truss takes over from Boris Johnson as Prime Minister today.

The author is reportedly set to return to the backbenches and spend more time writing.

It is also being reported that she is expected to take up a peerage to be offered by Johnson to mark his resignation.

This would trigger a by-election in her Mid Bedfordshire seat, which she has held since 2005 and saw her achieve a 24,664 majority at the 2019 general election.

Dorries, who announced her resignation this morning, says her departure after a year in the role is her decision and that she had been asked by Truss to stay on.

Dorries' year in office has been marred by controversy, most notably her overseeing of the bungled appointment of a Charity Commission chair late last year.

The government’s preferred candidate Martin Thomas was forced to resign days before taking up the post after it emerged he had been investigated for inappropriate behaviour at a charity he had chaired.

Charity sector leaders and MPs had wanted the process to be re-run amid concerns over a lack of diversity in the selection process.

But this was rejected by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under Dorries’ leadership, who instead selected current chair Orlando Fraser from the initial shortlist.

Fraser is a former Conservative Party general election candidate and was responsible for the government’s bungled advice on campaigning around the EU Referendum.

During her tenure as Culture Secretary she was also criticised for her plans to sell off Channel 4, despite appearing not to understand how the broadcaster is funded, at a hearing of MPs.

Elsewhere, during the Conservative Party leadership contest she attracted criticism for retweeting an image of Truss’ leadership rival Rishi Sunak stabbing Boris Johnson in the back following his resignation as Chancellor.

Dorries is the second cabinet member to quit following Truss’ appointment as Conservative Party leader yesterday.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has also resigned, urging Truss to continue her support for the government’s controversial policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. The policy has sparked concerns from several charities supporting refugees.

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