Nadine Dorries and Boris Johnson's friendship - unwavering ally and 'rock star' remark



Nadine Dorries has been given her own Friday night talk show and she's using the platform to interview her chum Boris Johnson - but will she be giving him a fair grilling?

Nadine, 65, served as Culture Secretary under Mr Johnson and she's been a loyal ally to the beleaguered politician ever since.

She's publicly spoken out and defended the shamed former Prime Minister, saying he's "one of world's greatest leaders" - even though he was booted out of office last year after a rebellion by his own MPs.

And now he's set to be the first guest on the new show which goes live on TalkTV tonight, and it's expected he'll open up about the Partygate scandal - exposed by The Mirror - that ended his term as Prime Minister.

Ms Dorries, who was Culture Secretary between 2021 and last year, is Mr Johnson's most steadfast ally - claiming Tories should bring him back 'or die '.

Boris Johnson and Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries served in Boris Johnson's government ( nadinedorries/Instagram)

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It is unlikely the controversial MP will ask searching questions of Mr Johnson, having described him as a "political rock star".

She refused to turn on him after he became mired in a number of scandals, and repeatedly claimed he had been stabbed in the back as his party turned on him.

In a bitter attack on current PM Rishi Sunak, she said: "With Rishi in No10, we are heading into the long, cold and brutal wasteland of thankless opposition".

Boris Johnson and Nadine Dorries
Now Boris is going to be interviewed by Nadine ( PA)

In a Mail on Sunday column, she added: "For the Conservatives, it's bring back Boris or die because the first task of any Labour government would be to ensure that there'll never be a majority Conservative government ever again."

The show hasn't even gone to air yet and Ms Dorries has already been slapped down by Westminster's revolving door watchdog over the forthcoming TV show.

Watchdog chair Lord Pickles was left fuming after she failed to seek advice from his body before taking the job.

All former ministers are required to ask the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) before taking a new job within two years of leaving Government.

Nadine Dorries staring adoringly at Boris Johnson
Will it be Frost V Nixon?
Boris Johnson
It seems Nadine is quite found of Boris ( James Veysey/TalkTV/REX/Shutterstock)

By failing to do so, Ms Dorries apparently broke the ministerial code.

Previously, Ms Dorries continued to maintain that Mr Johnson is "one of the world's best leaders" - and didn't rule out returning to Government if her old boss comes back.

At the time, she stopped short of attacking Mr Johnson's successor - Liz Truss - claiming markets had "pretty dramatically overreacted".

She said that the former Prime Minister, whose three years and 44 days in office were dogged by scandal, is "definitely having a nicer life at the moment"

But she was tight-lipped when asked if she would take up a frontbench role if Mr Johnson takes the helm again.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson is expected to open up on Partygate ( Getty Images)

Speaking at the time from her home in the Cotswolds, Ms Dorries said that she felt "quite sorrowful and disappointed about how I think we removed one of the world's best leaders".

The ardent loyalist, who remained at her boss's side while dozens of Tories finally had enough, claimed some within the party "behaved very badly", and said she would find it "very difficult" to continue working in a positive way after his departure.

She claimed Mr Johnson was "the only one that was going to maintain a stable poll position", saying it was "clear that people voted not always for the Conservatives — they voted for Boris".

Boris Johnson and Nadine Dorries
From the clips, it doesn't sound like Nadine will be asking too many pressing questions ( James Veysey/TalkTV/REX/Shutterstock)

Since leaving office, Mr Johnson has already banked more than £500,000 for a memoir about his disastrous time in Downing Street.

He trousered an astonishing £276,130 for a single speech in Colorado Springs in October - while the Commons was in session 5,000 miles away.

The update to the register also shows Mr Johnson received over £200,000 for a speaking engagement in December and £3,000 from the Spectator magazine.

It comes as taxpayers are expected to foot a £220,000 bill for the former Prime Minister's legal defence against allegations he misled Parliament over Partygate - which is expected to be debated on the show tonight.

Boris Johnson and Nadine Dorries
Boris is probably glad his old mate Nadine is doing the interview ( James Veysey/TalkTV/REX/Shutterstock)

Talking about the show, Ms Dorries said: "As someone who's never been afraid to speak their mind, I'm delighted to be joining the team at TalkTV for Friday Night with Nadine, where I'll be putting my 23-year political career and experiences at the despatch box to good use.

"Boris Johnson continues to dominate so much of the political narrative since his departure from No 10. Now's the time to find out what he really thinks about a whole range of pressing issues."

TalkTV described the show as "an irreverent look at the week's news and a lively mix of topical chat with guests from the world of politics, culture and sport".

In October she briefly stood in for Morgan on his Uncensored show while the former Good Morning Britain presenter was on holiday.

Richard Wallace, head of TV, News Broadcasting, said: "Nadine has a unique voice in British politics and will bring that unique voice to our air.

"She has had a seat at the top table of British politics during extraordinary times; knows all the key players and has true insight into how the corridors of power actually work.

"And, as a former nurse, she's one of very few politicians to have held down a proper job and worried about paying the bills, so our audience will relish her take."

Friday Night with Nadine starts on TalkTV tonight, February 3, from 8pm.

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