British Politician Suspended for Appearing in ITV Reality TV Show (Report)
LONDON: Nadine Dorries, a member of Britain's Conservative Party and the British parliament, has been suspended after deciding to appear on the U.K. version of reality TV show I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, according to the BBC.
Dorries will be the first current member of the U.K. parliament to appear on the ITV1 show, whose latest season is filming in Australia. The BBC said the show could see her being away from her parliament job for up to a month. The Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron is concerned about Dorries' inability to take care of parliamentary and constituency business while she is filming the program, it reported.
Dorries said she wanted to use her appearance on the reality show to raise awareness of issues she is interested in, such as reducing the cut-off time for abortions, the BBC reported. Currently, women are allowed to have abortions in the U.K. in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, but she wants to reduce that to 20 weeks.
"I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it. Rather than [members of parliament] talking to other [members] about issues in parliament, I think [they] should be going to where people go," she told the Daily Mail tabloid. "I'm not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions. There are certain causes that I'm interested in, one of which is '20 Weeks'.“
She added: "I will be talking about this issue around the campfire. I hope there will be some lively, heated debates."
But she has come in for criticism over her decision to enter the celebrity jungle, with British Home Secretary Theresa May and others on Wednesday criticizing her.
Cameron, who has publicly clashed with Dorries in the past, refused to be drawn into the row, saying: "Nadine Dorries can speak for herself on this issue."
The suspension from the party doesn't automatically mean Dorries will lose her parliamentary job. But she is set to provide an explanation of her conduct in a meeting with a senior party leader when she returns, the BBC said. It wasn't immediately clear if that could ultimately lead to her departure from her parliamentary job.
Some Conservative politicians said they plan to make sure that Dorries doesn't get a chance to run again for parliament during the next general election in 2015.