The MP criticised after taking time off to appear on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! has claimed a Birmingham MP is no better – because he missed work to recover from open heart surgery.
Controversial MP Nadine Dorries hit out at Birmingham MP Steve McCabe (Lab Selly Oak) in a bizarre exchange on Twitter.
She has been suspended from the Conservative Party in Parliament after jetting to Australia to take part in the reality television show, while the Commons is sitting.
Ms Dorries has met Tory Chief Whip Sir George Young to try to clear the air – but she remains suspended and has been ordered to “rebuild bridges” with her constituents and fellow MPs.
But defending herself on Twitter, she launched an astonishing attack on Mr McCabe, pointing out that he had only attended 63 per cent of Commons votes since the general election.
The figure is correct, but doesn’t take into account the fact that Mr McCabe had heart surgery at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in May this year to correct a heart murmur, and spent months recovering.
Ms Dorries attacked the MP for reporting her earlier this month to the Parliamentary standards watchdog after it emerged she had employed her daughter Philippa Dorries at taxpayers’ expense.
She said on Twitter: “Labour MP Steve McCabe who reported me to Standards Commissioner for time in jungle during half term has attendance record of just 63% !!”
Mr McCabe hit back, saying: “Imagine equating time off for open heart surgery with a paid-for holiday on a reality TV show. Says all we need to know.”
But even once the reason for Mr McCabe’s absences had been pointed out to her, Ms Dorries repeated the comment.
She told Mr McCabe: “I think with your 63 per cent attendance record, you should be quiet. Obviously been taking a few holidays of your own!”
Far from enjoying a holiday, Mr McCabe was recovering from surgery to repair the mitral valve inside the heart. The condition could potentially have been life-threatening if left untreated.
The MP spent months resting and worked in his constituency but did not travel to London.