Tory MP Nadine Dorries condemned for suggesting British woman of colour shouldn't criticise royal wedding: 'Appreciate the country you benefit from'

Maya Oppenheim

A Conservative MP has been condemned for saying a Uganda-born British journalist who criticised the royal wedding would be better off appreciating the country she has “chosen to benefit from”.

Nadine Dorries questioned why Yasmin Alibhai-Brown could not “just try and be nice” after the former Independent columnist took to Twitter to voice her disillusionment with the event and what it said about modern Britain.

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire also implied Ms Alibhai-Brown should be grateful to be living in Britain.

Ms Alibhai-Brown left Uganda for Britain in 1972, and completed a Master of Philosophy degree in literature at Oxford in 1975.

On Monday morning, two days after the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, the prominent commentator on immigration, diversity and multiculturalism wrote: “Is it safe to be back on Twitter? Have people – including royal wedding journalist junkies – run out of breath yet? Proof again that GB is an infantilised, escapist nation.”

Ms Dorries replied: “Yasmin, why don’t you just try to be nice? Maybe appreciate just a little the country and the people you have chosen to live, work and benefit from all of your life.”

The pair then became embroiled in a Twitter spat in which Ms Alibhai-Brown questioned why the Tory MP believed she was not entitled to have an opinion on Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle.

“Below you to play the race card, you’re better than that,” Ms Dorries responded.

Ms Dorries then faced a barrage of criticism over the remarks.

“I’m glad you’re not my MP. Just imagine the things you might say to me,” Twitter user Shruti Bhargava said. “I have zero confidence you would act on my behalf. Like it or not the UK is multicultural, and your job is to represent all citizens in their full diversity of beings and opinions.”

Another added: “If you don’t believe that a UK citizen can speak their mind freely (within legal limitations obviously) then you don’t believe in one of the basic tenets of our democracy. I don’t like what Dorries says, but I don’t seek for her to be silenced.”

Other critics accused Ms Dorries of racism and argued the politician failed to accept multiculturalism.

She responded by saying it was “laughable” she was being labelled a racist by the “rabid left”.

“Every time a Tory MP tells a black person to be grateful, it’s as though Dorries doesn’t realise that Yasmin has EXACTLY the same rights to live here as Dorries does – and her stay is not subject to the patronage of the ‘British’ people. Of course, she’s not racist, though,” Steve Carey wrote.

“Hi Nadine, why don’t you just try to be not racist? Maybe appreciate just a little bit that the country you’ve chosen to live in is a diverse, multiethnic and multicultural country. Perhaps reflect upon the white privilege that you’ve benefited from since the moment you were born,” Gary Spedding added.

Ms Dorries was suspended from the Tory Party in 2012 over to her decision to take part in I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! without telling the chief whip, but was later readmitted to the party.

 

She is known for her flamboyant personality, with Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman referring to “how she stands out in Parliament – a tropical bird in amongst all that dull, grey, plumage on the Commons benches”.

The Conservative Party has been contacted for comment.