Most Tory members do not see Nadine Dorries as asset to party but view expulsion as overkill
6pm: Nadine Dorries met the Chief Whip earlier today but the meeting was inconclusive. The two will meet again in a week to review the situation. This suggests to me that the party is slightly anxious about the consequences of expelling the jungle rebel. Today, immediately after her controversial experience downunder, would have been the decisive moment to have acted against her. Her many internal critics have decided not to strike. Nadine Dorries' criticism of David Cameron in Saturday's Sun, of Andrew Mitchell and her generally unrepetant tone also made it impossible for allies in the Whips Office to simply forgive her behaviour and restore her status in the parliamentary party. The ball is squarely in Nadine's court. Does she want to become more of a team player? Can she solidify her position within her home Tory association? Is she willing to use her considerable new fame to advance Tory causes or to join UKIP and split the Eurosceptic vote? Those are questions that only she can answer.
By Tim Montgomerie
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Nadine Dorries is due to meet the Chief Whip Sir George Young MP at 10.30am this morning to learn if she will have the Tory whip restored to her. The Sun is reporting that it is "unlikely". Tom Newton Dunn, the newspaper's political editor, writes:
"Unless she grovels and apologises fully for skipping Britain, she’ll be ejected from the party for good, senior sources said. Even if she repents, the offence she caused may be judged so grave that she may STILL get the boot."
Writing for ConHome on Sunday she was offering zero signs of repentance. "I have not a shred of regret," she wrote and "I would do the same thing again tomorrow." She even boasted that her "suspension has resulted in making me, outside of the obvious big players, the best known MP in Parliament."
In the snap poll we carried out yesterday afternoon of Tory members (see main UKIP-related results over at the ToryDiary) 72% thought she should keep the whip. Only 44% thought she was an asset to the party, however. 56% did not think she was an asset.
We will update this blog when we have more news.