Nadine Dorries turns on the ERG for failed coup... which she said she didn’t want

PUBLISHED: 16:21 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:39 25 November 2018

Conservative backbencher Nadine Dorries speaks in the House of Commons. (Photograph: PA Wire)

Conservative backbencher Nadine Dorries speaks in the House of Commons. (Photograph: PA Wire)

PA Archive/PA Images

Nadine Dorries has taken aim at the ERG for their failed leadership coup - despite publicly saying she did not intend for one to happen.

In the messages, which appear on the Guido Fawkes website, outspoken Brexiteer Dorries said that fellow European Research Group members had let down the group by failing to submit letters of no confidence in Theresa May.

Dorries said the failure to force the prime minister into a vote of no confidence had left them open to “ridicule and abuse”.

She also warned that May could now take the party into the next general election, and that the group were “amateur” in how they were handling press briefings.

The messages were said to be sent because she was unable to attend the latest meeting.

They said: “There are a handful of you who have badly let the ERG down as a group, opening us up to ridicule and abuse in the media and online.

“I am referring to those MPs who have not put their letters in. It is being said that you have let the side down and are not the type of people anyone would want to go into battle with.

“You have left others to do the dirty work of pushing forward the debate and hid under the covers.”

The private comments of Nadine Dorries appear to be at odds with her own public remarks.

She told BBC Politics Live that it was a “tactical decision” not to submit all 48 letters at once, and that it was designed to be a “burning fuse”.

She added that she had not put a letter in to oust Theresa May, but to create “leverage” to get her to change her mind on Brexit.

In an interview with the Mail Online she did not deny that she had sent the messages.

Best for Britain champion and Lib Dem MP Layla Moran said: “Brexiteers are squabbling like toddlers and throwing their toys out of the pram about their cack-handed coup.

“Nadine Dorries is someone who has sent in a letter of no confidence but yet, has said she doesn’t want to remove the prime minister.

“I guess this logic shows why the ERG are the crack guerrilla force running the table in Westminster.”

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