The Conservative Party has suspended the whip from MP Nadine Dorries after it emerged she was planning an extended absence from Westminster to appear on television's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

A senior party source said the Mid-Bedfordshire MP would remain suspended pending a meeting with chief whip Sir George Young, though it is not yet known when this will take place.

The MP was subjected to a barrage of criticism – some of it from fellow Tory MPs – after it was revealed she could be in the Australian bush for up to a month filming the ITV show. A Conservative spokesman said: "George Young has suspended the whip from Nadine Dorries. He will have an urgent meeting with her when she gets back.

"The concern is that she will not be doing parliamentary or constituency business in the meantime."

Ms Dorries, 55, who has been a prominent backbench critic of Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, will face eating bugs and offal as the first serving MP to take part in the programme.

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

Her constituency chairman said he was unaware of her involvement in the show and Home Secretary Theresa May said she believed an MP should be doing their job in their constituency and in Parliament.

Ms Dorries said: "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."