Nadine Dorries new political adviser called for her head after Im a Celeb debacle

Ben Wallace is grilled on Nadine Dorries' cabinet appointment

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Ms Dorries was appointed culture secretary in last week’s cabinet reshuffle, and will now be responsible for setting strategy and policy for industries such as sport, broadcasting and tourism. The 64-year-old will be tasked with deciding the level of BBC licence fee, whether to privatise Channel 4 and choose a new head for broadcasting watchdog Ofcom. Ms Dorries’ appointment raised eye-brows in the arts, after she once claimed “left-wing snowflakes” were “killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech.”

Many in entertainment have criticised the appointment and claimed that Ms Dorries is divorced from the arts, while her supporters argue that she merely is a victim of snobbery from the artistic establishment.

An unnamed Tory MP told the BBC,  “Some people were a bit taken back in terms of her suitability for the role” but added “We’re going to have fun”.

In 2012, the politician controversially signed up to ITV reality show I’m a Celebrity, and appeared in the Australian jungle alongside the likes of darts player Eric Bristow, actor Linda Robson and pop star Limahl, along with that year’s eventual winner, Eastenders star Charlie Brooks.

She was briefly suspended from the Tory party for her appearance on the show, and criticised by senior politicians including Theresa May who stressed: “An MP’s job is in their constituency and in the House of Commons.”

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Among those who slammed Ms Dorries is her newly appointed special adviser Rob Oxley, who called for his now-boss to be sacked.

He wrote in Politics.co.uk: “What does matter is that Ms Dorries’ constituents should be represented in Parliament by the individual they elect and pay for. 

“I’ve outlined why this is a good idea here but the I’m a Celebrity debacle reminds us why local residents must have the ability to throw out politicians who fall well short of the standards expected of our elected representatives.”

The adviser, who at the time was campaign manager for TaxPayers’ alliance added: “Important votes are coming up on the EU, as is the Autumn statement which will have a profound impact on our economic recovery. 

“It is by addressing these issues, scrutinising the Government and understanding why things like the cost of living matter so much to people that will reconnect voters with politicians. 

“Not pursuing an A-list career on a popular, but ultimately trivial TV programme thousands of miles away from this country.”

Ms Dorries at the time, justified her decision to enter the jungle by saying her appearance would help raise awareness of issues she was interested in. 

She told the Daily Mail that she was going on the show because 16 million people watched it.

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She added: “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.”

Another of those who was vocal during Ms Dorries’ I’m a Celeb appearance was her long-time parliamentary assistant William Joce, who will also join her departmental advisory team. 

Mr Joce appeared on BBC Three Counties Radio to defend his boss and came under fire from constituents who were waiting for replies to casework.

Presenter Jonathan Vernon-Smith, while scrutinising Mr Dorries’ decision asked Mr Joce: “What do you think of the fact that he’s left you to do her job?”

Mr Joce was quick to reply: “I would certainly not say she’s left me doing her job. I’m doing my job.”

In the toe-curling exchange, Mr Vernon-Smith then asked: “So nobody’s doing her job?”

Mr Joce again responded: “I’m doing my job.”

Mr Vernon-Smith said: “Who’s doing her job?”

A nervous Mr Joce said “You’d have to put that to her” only for Mr Vernon-Smith to snappily reply, “But we can’t put that to her, that’s the point, she’s in the jungle.”

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