Nadine Dorries' anti-Boris conspiracy theory has one tiny flaw

Nadine Dorries and Boris Johnson (Talk TV)
Nadine Dorries and Boris Johnson (Talk TV)

Londoner's Diary

Nadine Dorries is continuing her exposé of the “sinister clique” of top Tories who brought down her political hero Boris Johnson. In today’s Daily Mail, Dorries claims this same cabal brought down another Tory leader 20 years ago. Iain Duncan Smith was felled by a no-confidence vote in 2003 after failing to impress MPs. He is now happy to indulge Dorries’ “theories”.

He tells her there are ominous “parallels” with the fall of Johnson. “Just like Boris, I faced a confidence motion, which I lost and ceased being leader. All on the back of public hysteria,” he says. With the revelatory zeal of Woodward and Bernstein, Dorries claims this formed a “blueprint” for bringing down Tory leaders. Figureheads of the mob include Dominic Cummings, Michael Gove, and someone who Dorries describes as a “very frightening individual I have codenamed Dr No”.

There’s a small problem. One of those shadowy plotters who brought down Duncan Smith was… Boris Johnson. In 2003, as a young MP, Johnson supported IDS publicly, but secretly agreed with his fellow MPs David Cameron and George Osborne that his leadership was a “disaster”.

The three agreed to vote against him in the secret no-confidence ballot, which Duncan Smith lost. Incidentally, as Osborne wrote in his Spectator column, Cameron later admitted to the other two that he backed out at the last minute. “What? Why?”, responded Johnson. Cameron replied: “I don’t want the Tory party to get into the habit of deposing its leaders.” Perhaps he had caught wind of the “dark forces” at the heart of the party machine.