I’m A Celebrity MP Nadine Dorries has been rebuked by a fellow Conservative politician, after she compared her decision to go on the reality TV show with his work for the Foreign Office.
Alistair Burt, who represents North East Bedfordshire, responded after Ms Dorries referred to him in her exclusive interview with the Times & Citizen.
Explaining her decision to go on the reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Ms Dorries said that no one criticised Mr Burt for going abroad as part of his ministerial work.
Speaking on Thursday, Mr Burt said: “I am surprised that Nadine believes there is some similarity between me being abroad on behalf of the British people, including my constituents, and her taking part in a TV show in the jungle.
“Whilst I am abroad I am in regular contact with my Westminster and Biggleswade office via email and telephone, as this comment from Brussels shows. I understand that is not possible from the Australian jungle under the TV show rules.
“I had not previously commented on Nadine’s business. I hope she no longer feels obliged to comment on mine.”
Mr Burt has been Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for two-and-a-half years.
He has previously worked in the Department of the Environment, the Department for Education, and the Department of Social Security.
Ms Dorries will be one of the contestants on the 12th series of the ITV show, which will run for three weeks and see her line up alongside the likes of darts player Eric Bristow, TV star Brian Conley, and former Doctor Who actor Colin Baker.
Speaking to the Times & Citizen in this week’s paper she said: “Alistair Burt is a very hard-working constituency MP, but in his ministerial role he has had 20 weeks abroad this year.
“Most MPs take parliamentary trips during the year and in seven years I have never taken one.”
She added: “I have taken three trips, two to Israel and the Middle East for briefings, and one to Equatorial Guinea to see how children there live, but those were taken during holiday time. Most of the year I work seven days a week.”
And Nadine claimed that any criticism of her decision would be unfair: “Would they say that to Alistair Burt when he goes abroad each week? Being a minister and an MP is two jobs and he does them both very well.
“But do they say when he is in Qatar for weeks that he is neglecting his constituency?”