1:55pm Monday 26th November 2012
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Nadine Dorries has declared "I'd do it again tomorrow" after arriving back in Britain to face the music following her appearance on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
The backbench MP has been heavily criticised for travelling to Australia to take part in the ITV jungle survival show while the Commons was sitting.
Speaking to reporters at Heathrow Airport, Ms Dorries defended her decision, saying: "I've had three sitting days away from Parliament. The rest has been over half-term. There are still MPs who have been away for two weeks and still haven't returned. I've had three sitting days away. I think that is an important thing to remember."
When asked about the reaction of some of her constituents in Mid Bedfordshire, she replied: "What they are angry about is what they have read in the newspapers, which is not the truth."
Ms Dorries, who was the first contestant voted off the programme last week, had initially been expected to stay in Australia until next month. Tory Chief Whip Sir George Young has suspended the party whip, and summoned her for a meeting to explain her actions.
But Ms Dorries denied she was about to have such a meeting, and added: "The Press are giving the impression the whip has been withdrawn. It hasn't."
A source close to Sir George said Ms Dorries had been "very clearly" informed in a letter that she was suspended pending their meeting. That meeting is expected to happen "soon", according to the source.
A senior Conservative source said: "When Nadine went to the jungle, she was suspended from the party, pending a meeting with the Chief Whip. Now a meeting can take place and I presume that meeting will take place soon.
"It is for her to meet with the Chief Whip and we will see what happens at that meeting. She will have to explain herself to the Chief Whip. She says she sought permission from the whips and received permission - the whips that were around at the time say that's not the case."
Mr Cameron has "input" into decisions on party discipline, but it is for Sir George Young to restore or withdraw the whip, said the source.
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