Dorries: 'PM humiliated me in front of the whole country'

The exchange between Cameron and Dorries prompted hails of laughter during last week's PMQs.
The exchange between Cameron and Dorries prompted hails of laughter during last week's PMQs.

By Ian Dunt

David Cameron humiliated Nadine Dorries in front of the entire country, the Conservative backbencher has said.

Ms Dorries, who was on the receiving end of a seemingly inadvertent innuendo during last week's PMQs, finally gave her account of events in a piece for the Sunday Mail.

The moment came when she rose during the session to tell Mr Cameron to show Nick Clegg "who's boss".


The prime minister responded by saying he knew Ms Dorries was "frustrated", at which point laughter filled the Commons.

"I waited anxiously for him to continue but the laughter increased. He tried again, feebly, and then sat down, announcing: 'I am just going to give up'," she this weekend.

"A voice inside my head screamed: 'You can't leave it at that. You can't just give up.' But he had. The Chamber grew hotter and the noise more thunderous as all around me people laughed. I felt my cheeks burn.

"I sat for ten minutes trying to read through the speech but then realised I had to get out of the chamber to compose myself."

She added: "The prime minister had publicly humiliated me in front of the entire nation in a way that I knew would be perceived as sexist. I felt incredibly hurt and confused. What had I done to deserve that?

"I thought of my mum who watches PMQs each week to see if she can catch a glimpse of me. What would she make of it?"

Ms Dorries' subsequent speech for her amendment on abortion was particularly badly received, with the MP using up nearly an hour of her allotted 90 minutes debating time in a rambling a speech which focused mostly on the Guardian and former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris.

"The abortion debate itself was the fiercest hour I've ever experienced," she explained.

"As I stood to speak, one furious MP after another on the Labour benches stood to attack me. They were virtually frothing at the mouth."

By the end of the debate, even Labour MP Frank Field, who co-signed the abortion amendment with Ms Dorries, urged her not to move it.

The Department of Health has agreed to consider some of Ms Dorries' points and allow independent counselling bodies to offer their services to women considering an abortion, but it has ruled out stripping abortion providers of their duty to provide counselling as well.
Pro-choice campaigners warn that, because counselling is a self-regulating industry, allowing so-called independent organisations to offer counselling will open the door to religious organisations trying to convince women not to have an abortion.
 

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