Nadine Dorries’ bizarre new book — your guide to the highlights

Nadine Dorries’ bizarre new book — your guide to the highlights

The new book by Nadine Dorries, Boris Johnson’s most devoted Cabinet ally, contains a series of extraordinary claims about his downfall.

Seen by many as part of a campaign to help Mr Johnson return to No 10, the book also includes scathing comments about many senior Conservatives.

Most of those in Ms Dorries’ firing line are accused of being responsible for his removal from office in 2022 after a number of personal and political scandals.

She calls Rishi Sunak a “coward” and a “stooge”, dubs Michael Gove a “smiling assassin” and describes Dominic Cummings as a “sadist”.

In a series of interviews with Ms Dorries for the book, Mr Johnson says Mr Sunak’s government is “nuts” and claims the Tory party is “drifting” towards an election defeat to Keir Starmer’s Labour.

Further lurid allegations are attributed to anonymous Tory sources. The Times’ reviewer called it “the single weirdest book I have ever read”, while The Telegraph suggested that Ms Dorries had “lost the plot” with her wild conspiracy claims.

Here are some highlights from Ms Dorries’ book, The Plot. The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson – which themes every single chapter around James Bond.

Johnson says ‘totally nuts’ Sunak ‘drifting’ to election defeat

Mr Johnson accuses Mr Sunak of failing to inspire – arguing that the PM has given voters “nothing to rally behind”. The former PM also accused his successor of betraying his legacy on levelling up, HS2 and tax.

‘‘The government should be cutting corporation tax… instead he’s putting it up; totally nuts. Where’s the vision?” he tells Ms Dorries.

“The whole thing needs a massive kick in the pants. It’s all drifting. Unless we get a grip the local election results will be repeated at the General Election and Starmer will be a complete disaster.”

Boris Johnson says Tories ‘drifting’ to defeat (PA Media)
Boris Johnson says Tories ‘drifting’ to defeat (PA Media)

Johnson feels like a ‘caged beast’ out of power

The former Tory leader tells the author: “You ask where I am. I’m seething. I’m a caged beast. I’m a coiled mamba. We’re losing the plot.” Yet Mr Johnson also claims that he is not bitter. “Never be bitter, no good can come from it.”

And he suggests he could still be in power if not for Mr Sunak’s allies. “We could have kept the whole thing going if people had not prevailed upon Rishi to do something that was not fundamentally in his interest or in the best interest of the country.”

Dorries says Tory MPs determined to stop Johnson comeback

The author claims some Conservatives want to stop a comeback because they feel guilty about getting rid of him. “There are Tory MPs who would rather eat their own eyeballs than have him back, and that’s the truth of it. They have the tribal guilt of regicide on them.”

Sunak described as ‘coward’ and ‘talentless’ boy band member

Ms Dorries writes in the book: “Rishi is a coward.” And she also quotes an anonymous source saying: “He’s an empty suit in a boy band on autotune. Politically talentless… a puppet. Feels nothing and knows even less.”

Nadine Dorries was a strong backer of Johnson throughout his premiership (PA)
Nadine Dorries was a strong backer of Johnson throughout his premiership (PA)

Michael Gove dubbed ‘Brutus’

In a vicious attack on Mr Gove, the author compares him to the most famous of Julius Caesar’s assassins. “A man I could only visualise as Brutus, he stabbed Boris in the back in 2016.”

She adds: “Charming, funny, a tragic man. A smiling assassin but most of all a fake. He always got away with it and that included admitting to taking cocaine.

“But something had altered with him. And I don’t mean dancing in Aberdeen nightclubs with teenage revellers in the early hours or his marriage breakdown or that because of his betrayal in 2016 very few MPs liked or trusted him.”

She also quotes an anonymous source saying: “He’s out drinking all hours. He embarrassed himself so often by getting drunk at poker nights, he had to stop going.”

Johnson calls Gove ‘Govefinger’

Ms Dorries tells Mr Johnson she thinks former adviser Dominic Cummings is “Oddjob [from the James Bond movies] to Gove’s Goldfinger”.

Boris then blurts out: “Govefinger.” The former Tory leader also tells the author Mr Gove was “angry”, adding: “There was always this simmering anger in Michael.”

Michael Gove described as ‘Govefinger’ (PA)
Michael Gove described as ‘Govefinger’ (PA)

Dorries calls Cummings ‘sadistic’

On the former No 10 strategist, the author writes: “His personality has been described to me as dark triad coupled with everyday sadism. His physical anger towards others has been witnessed, leading some to say he’s a psychopath.”

Johnson says Sunak is Cummings’s ‘stooge’

Mr Johnson calls Mr Cummings a “nihilist”, telling his ally: “He was very good at nihilism. But not great at building things.”

The former Tory leader also claims that Mr Cummings connived to help Mr Sunak oust him. “The plot was always to get Rishi in. I just couldn’t see it at the time. It’s like The Manchurian Candidate [the film about a Communist conspiracy in the US], their stooge.”

Dorries claims Sunak relies on the advice of alleged rabbit killer ‘Dr No’

Ms Dorries says a shadowy group called “the movement” group, which includes Mr Gove, Mr Cummings and an adviser called Dougie Smith – toppled Boris.

She claims another member of the movement is “a very frightening individual I have codenamed Dr No”, adding: “He is paid by Central Office, has a pass to No 10 and, some say, Rishi Sunak doesn’t move without first seeking his advice.”

She writes: “Dr No was once on remand in prison for alleged arson. When a girlfriend ended their relationship, it is rumoured that he had her little brother’s pet rabbit chopped into four and nailed to the front door of the family home to greet him when he got home from school, in true Mafia style.”

Boris accuses Dominic Cummings of plotting to oust him (PA Wire)
Boris accuses Dominic Cummings of plotting to oust him (PA Wire)

Kemi Badenoch described as ‘rude’

Ms Dorries quotes an anonymous source saying: “Kemi is an abrasive, often difficult, sometimes very rude person. She doesn’t have the essential qualities required in a PM.

“If you want to look at the group of men who live in the shadows of our party and who truly decide who the PM is, you should look closer at Kemi. Who her friends are, who she takes her holidays with.”

The author also writes: “She previously worked at The Spectator which is so bizarrely obsequious to her it could be announcing the coming of the new messiah.”

Badenoch said to ‘loathe’ Penny Mordaunt

Ms Dorries quotes another anonymous source saying Ms Badenoch “loathes” her potential Tory leadership rival, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt.

“She regards her as a toxic force in the party, but Kemi has a way with people which will get her into trouble one day. She is far too brusque and snappy and can be caustic and cutting too.”

Truss described as ‘socially inept’

Another anonymous source tells the author: “Liz’s problem is she is socially inept, awkward, scared, never a leader. Should never have been PM. Her ego and ambition got the better of her.”

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss (PA Archive)
Boris Johnson and Liz Truss (PA Archive)

Oliver Dowden ‘man of little talent’, Dorries claims

On the deputy PM, the author writes: “I’ve never heard anyone talk so long and say so little. He used a hundred words when 10 would do. I wasn’t the only one left groaning and wondering how a man of so little talent has risen so far.’’

Grant Shapps ‘overly voluble’, says Dorries

The Johnson ally also has a problem with the defence secretary. “Grant’s overly voluble Cabinet contributions always created an eye roll from colleagues,” she writes.

Sajid Javid ‘monotone and unimaginative’, says Dorries

The author also takes aim at former chancellor Sajid Javid, the first to resign from the cabinet culminating in Johnson being toppled as PM. “Javid styled himself as ‘The Saj’, only God knows why.

“He spectacularly failed to impress at the Cabinet table. He never shone in any department and was now running on air… monotone, startlingly unimaginative.”

Dorries on ‘unqualified’ cabinet secretary Simon Case

The author is also scathing about the head of the civil service. “Inexperienced, humourless, lacking emotional intelligence. It was hard to find a civil servant who had a civil word about him. Words they used to describe him covered everything from liar to snake. He was wholly untrained, unqualified and unable to do the job of cabinet secretary.”

Cummings’s deputy Cleo Watson described as ‘mean’

On Mr Cummings’s loyal deputy Cleo Watson, the author says: “I was told that Cleo was mean and a satirist and had a public school malice in the way she made fun of people.

“She frequently made fun of Priti Patel in meetings when Priti wasn’t around. One (Downing St) staffer said to me, ‘In an Enid Blyton book, Cleo would be the sharp-tongued Alicia in Malory Towers who brought everyone down to size.’”