亨利·迪斯: Nadine Dorries is a Culture Sec with real bite!

亨利·迪斯: A fruity cackle worthy of Vincent PriceNadine Dorries is a Culture Secretary with real bite!

About a quarter of the way through Nadine Dorries’ appearance before the digital, 文化, media and sport committee and suddenly she let out a fruity cackle.

It was the turn of Steve Brine (Con, Winchester) to quiz the new(ish) 文化大臣 and he had just addressed his honourable colleague by her formal title of ‘Secretary of State’.

Dorries’ piercing blue eyes twinkled and in her feathery Scouse lilt she proclaimed: ‘Never thought you’d get to say those words, did ya Steve?’

Cue a laugh worthy of the late Vincent Price. But she has a point.

Did anyone really foresee this Liverpudlian livewire ever troubling the ministerial car fleet? Mad Nad? In the Cabinet? Give over, we laughed. Too outspoken, too much of a loose cannon.

好, she’s laughing now.

Dorries’ piercing blue eyes twinkled and in her feathery Scouse lilt she proclaimed: ‘Never thought you’d get to say those words, did ya Steve?’

Dorries’ piercing blue eyes twinkled and in her feathery Scouse lilt she proclaimed: ‘Never thought you’d get to say those words, did ya Steve?’

Her evidence yesterday was typically fiery. Certainly a far cry from her dainty predecessor Oliver Dowden.

Competent chap, 道登先生, but I know who I’d prefer next to me in the trenches when the grenades drop in.

Miss Dorries arrived shortly after 2.30pm, trailed by a trio of slightly terrified-looking spads. Alongside her sat her department’s permanent secretary, Sarah Healey.

Swotty sort. Jumpy. Wears that permanent wide-eyed look of panic. But trying to second guess sprightly Nad all day long probably does that to you. Opening the bowling was John Nicolson (SNP, Ochil and South Perthshire). He was curious about the vacant chairman’s job at Ofcom.

特别是, he wanted to know if the committee would be able to reject Nadine’s chosen candidate if they didn’t think they were up to muster.

Dorries pointed out the committee had no such veto. ‘Never has done, never will do,’ she replied robustly.

Whenever Mr Nicolson appears on this committee he loves to radiate outrage. It bubbles out of him like magma. Neck stiffens. Skin goes red.

'好, that’s just great for Parliamentary scrutiny, 是不是?’ he spat, jowls visibly juddering.

But turned out Dorries didn’t want to talk about the Ofcom job much. It was an ‘ongoing process,’ she dismissed. Nor was she keen to chat about who’d be the next Charity Commission chairman. Or about the possible sale of Channel 4.

These were all ‘ongoing processes’ too – so, 自然, she couldn’t comment.

‘What’s a snowflake Leftie?’ asked Efford. ‘Probably my kids,’ Nadine sighed. Cue laughter.

‘What’s a snowflake Leftie?’ asked Efford. ‘Probably my kids,’ Nadine sighed. Cue laughter.

Clive Efford (Lab, Eltham) wanted to get stuck in to the remarks Dorries made earlier in her career, particularly her denouncement of the BBC as a bunch of ‘Leftie snowflakes.’

‘What’s a snowflake Leftie?’ asked Efford. ‘Probably my kids,’ Nadine sighed. Cue laughter.

Committee chairman Julian Knight (Con, 索利赫尔) was concerned that Dorries hadn’t read the reports his team had prepared in recent years carefully enough. 毕竟, vast swathes of rainforest had been cleared to create these must-read page-turners.

Had she perused the recent one on the potential Channel 4 sale by any chance?

Dorries admitted she’d skimmed it. Knight urged her to read it in its entirely. 哦, absolutely she would, Nadine insisted.Odds-on she’d already used it as kindling?

Other nuggets?

She made no reassurances about the licence fee, suggesting it would seem archaic in ten years’ time. (Pretty archaic now, if you ask me.)

She also didn’t appear to agree with Dowden’s decision earlier this year not to decriminalise non-payment of the fee.

哦, and she thought the organisers of the Brit Awards’ decision this week to scrap gendered categories would result in too many male winners.

Dorries once wrote disparaging remarks on Twitter about radio presenter bore James O’Brien which, it was pointed out to her, would potentially fall foul of the Government’s proposed Online Harms Bill

Dorries once wrote disparaging remarks on Twitter about radio presenter bore James O’Brien which, it was pointed out to her, would potentially fall foul of the Government’s proposed Online Harms Bill

Things grew heated toward the end when Nicolson tackled her over her history on social media. She once wrote disparaging remarks on Twitter about radio presenter bore James O’Brien which, it was pointed out to her, would potentially fall foul of the Government’s proposed Online Harms Bill.

Dorries frowned, shuffling her feet back and forth. She wasn’t there ‘to answer questions about tweets I sent out years ago,’ she complained.

Besides, she’d seen Nicolson’s own Twitter account and it was ‘nothing to be proud of’.

'哦, you’ll find no abuse in my tweet history,’ Nicolson retorted with a satisfied shake of the head.

But turns out that wasn’t quite true.

Later Nad unearthed a tweet in which Nicolson called her ‘unstable’ back in 2017.

好, 好, 好! These preening old gasbags may need to watch themselves with the Culture Secretary in future. This one bites back.

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