Dorries Regains Whip

9 May 2013, 07:54 | Updated: 9 May 2013, 08:07

Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries has been welcomed back into the Conservative party, six months after taking time off, without permission, to go on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

She has since apologised for what she did.  At the time she insisted she had approval from the then-Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell.

A Conservative Party spokesman said on Wednesday 8 May 2013 that current chief Sir George Young had restored the whip "with immediate effect'' after a meeting this afternoon.

"Nadine has apologised to the Chief Whip for absenting herself from her parliamentary duties without permission and has given assurances to the Whips Office that she will follow the same procedure as other Conservative Members of Parliament before going away when the House is sitting,'' the spokesman added.

The move comes amid speculation over Tory defections to Ukip following the poll surge by Nigel Farage's party, and unrest over David Cameron's leadership.

Ms Dorries has been an outspoken critic of the Prime Minister, previously branding him and chancellor George Osborne "arrogant posh boys''.

However, it is understood the Ukip issue did not come up at her meeting with Sir George, which was described as "convivial''.

Ms Dorries said: "I am delighted. It is long overdue.''

Posting on Twitter later, Ms Dorries insisted she had not been set "targets'' as part of the reconciliation.

"My whip has been restored with no conditions other than those which apply to any party MP. Work continues as normal,'' she wrote.

Ms Dorries said Tory big beast David Davis was hosting a "return of the prodigal daughter party'' on Monday to celebrate the whip being restored.

"Whips only allowed if accompanied by responsible adult,'' she added.

Nadine Dorries' Mid Bedfordshire constituency includes towns like Shefford, Flitwick and Ampthill, as well as towns on the fringes of Milton Keynes like Woburn and part of Woburn Sands.