NADINE Dorries is “failing her constituents”, Rishi Sunak has said, declaring voters deserve someone who is actively representing them

Ms Dorries, a former culture secretary with a weekly TV chat show and a new book out about Boris Johnson, hasn’t spoken in the House of Commons for more than a year.

Speaking about her on an LBC call-in, Mr Sunak said her constituents in Mid Bedfordshire “aren’t being properly represented” because of her silence in parliament.

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Fiercely loyal to Mr Johnson, Ms Dorries announced in June she was resigning as an MP with “immediate effect” after being denied a peerage in the former PM’s resignation honours. 

However she then failed to follow through on the pledge, saying she would stay on while investigating why she was denied a seat in the House of Lords.

She now hosts a show on Talk TV and has written a book called The Plot: The Political Assassination Of Boris Johnson, due out days before the autumn Tory conference.

Mr Sunak told an LBC call-in: “I think people deserve to have an MP that represents them, wherever they are.

“It’s just making sure your MP is engaging with you, representing you, whether that’s speaking in Parliament or being present in their constituencies doing surgeries, answering your letters.

“That’s the job of an MP and all MPs should be held to that standard.”

Asked if that means Ms Dorries was failing her constituents, Mr Sunak said: “Well, at the moment people aren’t being properly represented.”

Ms Dorries won her seat in 2019 with a huge majority of 24,664, and there is speculation that she would like Mr Johnson, who quit as an MP over Covid rule-breaking, to replace her.

Mr Sunak was also asked about the timing of the general election, which must be held by January 2025.

With some of his MPs urging him to go to the country next spring, before the economic pain being felt by households worsened, Mr Sunak hinted he probably would go later.

Asked on LBC if he could go to the polls in the first half of 2024, the Prime Minister said: “I wouldn’t like to speculate but, look, I’ve got a lot to get on with.”

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Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper repeated demands for Ms Dorries to quit.

She said: “When your own Prime Minister says you aren’t doing your job properly, it really is time to go. There is real anger on the doorsteps in Mid Bedfordshire from former lifelong Conservative voters who are switching to the Liberal Democrats.

“Families are facing soaring bills and are finding it almost impossible to get a GP appointment, while this Government is wrapped up in sleaze and the Conservatives’ MP is nowhere to be seen.”

Both Labour and the Lib Dems scent a chance to snatch the Tory safe seat.

Ms Dorries held it in 2019 by 24,664 votes over second-placed Labour, but the Lib Dems hope they can continue a run of four by-election wins under leader Sir Ed Davey.