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Nadine Dorries: What has new culture secretary said about BBC, books and gay marriage?

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Once covered in bugs on on I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here, Tory MP Nadine Dorries is now in charge of Britain’s arts and media having been Culture Secretary in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.

The former nurse and mother-of-three proved unpopular with viewers and was the first to be voted off, before promptly being suspended by the Tory hierarchy for not getting permission for her stint on the programme.

But the 64-year-old, who is also a best-selling author, has not been shy is offering her opinion on everything from the BBC to comedy and the state of the Conservative Party.

The Independent has compiled some of the key moment of Ms Dorries career so far.

What has she said about the BBC?

The new Culture Secretary has been a long-time critic of the BBC and in 2012 said that the Government should withhold the licence fee payout to the corporation, unless they did more to address alleged sexist discrimination against its women television and radio presenters.

She also demanded a parliamentary committee be set up to look at why the BBC had so few female executives, as well as presenters, particularly in primetime slots.

More recently she said the BBC favour “strident, very left wing, often hypocritical and frequently patronising views that turn people away.”

What has she said about comedy?

In December 2017 Ms Dorries said that “left wing snowflakes are killing comedy” and “dumbing down panto”.

In the full tweet, she said: “Left wing snowflakes are killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech. Sadly, it must be true, history does repeat itself. It will be music next.”

What has she said about Brexit and Boris?

Ms Dorries is an ardent supporter of Brexit, has been critical of Remainers and has repeatedly shown public support for Boris Johnson.

In November 2019, she tweeted: “Parliament is gridlocked. We cannot get #Brexit done until we return a Parliament with a majority of MPs who support the deal @BorisJohnson secured, against the odds. Let’s get this done. #BackBoris Back the deal. Vote #Conservative @Conservatives.”

Prior to the 2019 General Election she described Mr Johnson as “the change the country needs” and used the #BackBoris hashtag in a number of tweets.

What does she think of Winston Churchill?

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire bragged on Twitter that she had a bust of the former prime minister in her home and in a separate tweet described him and Disraeli as “great novelists”.

In a tweet from 2017 she said: “Big fan of Churchill - statue of him on my desk, but it was about more than a man. America is, was and always will be our greatest friend.”

What does she think about gay marriage?

The new cabinet secretary strongly opposed gay marriage and voted against the legislation when it was put forward by David Cameron’s government in 2013.

In May 2013, she tweeted: “If gay marriage bill takes sex out of marriage could a sister marry a sister to avoid inheritance tax?”

However years later she said that voting against gay marriage was her “biggest regret” as an MP and that she hopes all “same sex marriages live happily ever after”.

What does she think about the Conservative Party?

Ms Dorries, who grew up on a council estate, has frequently been at odds with what she thought of as her party’s image.

She once referred to David Cameron and George Osborne as “arrogant posh boys”, while describing herself as “a normal mother who comes from a poor background and who didn’t go to a posh school”.

Was she embroiled in the MP expenses scandal?

In short, yes. In 2009, when MPs’ expenses claims were revealed by the Daily Telegraph, she admitted she had got taxpayers to foot the bill for a lost £2,190 deposit on a rented flat.

And in 2010, she was rebuked by parliamentary standards commissioner John Lyon for misleading her constituents on her blog about how much time she spent in mid-Bedfordshire, admitting that it was “70% fiction”.

What has she said about her writing career?

Ms Dorries is an accomplished novelist and has written 19 works, including two trilogies and a six-part series.

She told The Sunday Telegraph: “I still write 1,000 words every day, and I always will. Writing is very good for my mental health. I’m a happier person on the days I write.”

Ms Dorries work hasn’t always been met with stellar reviews.

One critic wrote of her first book: “Dorries is just not very good at making things up. Things in the novel appear to happen purely because they seem like a good idea at the time to the author. Characters potter in and then out again as soon as their service to the plot is done.”

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