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‘She’s a best-selling author’: Minister defends appointment of Nadine Dorries as Culture Secretary

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A minister has defended Boris Johnson’s appointment of Nadine Dorries as Culture Secretary, insisting her status as a best-selling author made her a suitable candidate to run the department.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said Ms Dorries, a former nurse who was suspended by the Tory party while a backbencher in 2012 for appearing on I’m, a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, would be “a solid and capable” minister.

Nadine Dorries is a best selling author,” Mr Wallace told Sky News on Thursday. “She has sold thousands and thousands of books, now if that isn’t part of culture, media and sport I don’t know what is.

“What’s great about Nadine Dorries is she produces a culture that people buy and actually want to see rather than some of the more crackpot schemes we have seen funded in the past by taxpayers’ money. She will bring realism to it.”

An arch Brexiteer, Ms Dorries’s promotion means she will oversee the BBC, which she has criticised in the past for being a “biased left-wing organisation.”

She will also be responsible for pushing through the privatisation of Channel 4, taking on the US tech giants over online safety and leading the government’s positioning in the ‘culture wars’. She strongly opposed gay marriage and has criticised “left wing snowflakes” for “killing comedy.

Despite Mr Wallace’s backing, critics said she was not up to the job.

Former Conservative minister Anna Soubry told the BBC’s Newsnight: “The appointment of Nadine Dorries actually says everything that is wrong and rotten about this Prime Minister’s stewardship of this country.

“She never made it even as a bag carrier in either David Cameron’s or Theresa May’s Cabinet…She was not in government at all, and for very good reason.”

Ms Dorries has written a string of best selling novels, many set in her home city of Liverpool, and according to parliament’s most recent register of members interests, she declared over £125,000 in royalties between September 2020 and May 2021.

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