Rishi Sunaks allies are terrified that Dorries tell-all book will destroy them

Nadine Dorries in ‘first TV interview since resigning’

It may have taken 78 days to confirm, but Nadine Dorries’ departure as the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire was always going to be just a matter of time.

Her letter to Rishi Sunak, though, has clearly sparked terror among the Prime Minister’s allies.

Specifically, it is the threat that her book – The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson – due to be published three days before the Conservative party conference will expose the workings of “dark forces” at its heart.

The truth is that although there have been dribs and drabs of schemes and plots over the years there is a story to be told in its entirety which has yet to be properly aired.

As one ally of Liz Truss put it: “It’s more about exposing a cancer that has spread within the Tory Party.”

READ MORE: Nadine Dorries formally quits as MP and straight away gets ‘new job’

The next few weeks now are about whether Nadine Dorries can be discredited enough as an individual for her central accusations to be also dismissed.

The same senior Conservative noted: “We have to ensure that is this isn’t about a person as such and more about the facts of what has been going on.

“I usually believe in cock-up rather than conspiracy, but have finally come to see that there has been a small cabal behind so much.”

In her lengthy, brutal letter to Mr Sunak, there were two lines in particular which seem to have hit a very sensitive nerve.

They were on the way that Boris Johnson was one of four Prime ministers to be removed without an election and how this has happened.

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Ms Dorries clearly laid the blame saying to Sunak that they both know a “democratic deficit” is “the result of the machinations of a small group of individuals embedded deep at the centre of the party and Downing Street.”

She went on: “As I spoke to more and more people…a dark story emerged which grew ever more disturbing with each person I spoke to.”

The former Culture Secretary is not the first senior Tory nor will she be be the last to refer to this cabal which some believe has its tentacles in the media, thinktanks and beyond, but she may be the first to go public with all the gory details.

One of the best ways of working out what scares political leaders is to see how their allies in the media react to events via their briefings.

It did not take long for two media heavyweights in the Conservatives to be deployed and unsurprisingly they were focussed on this very accusation from Ms Dorries.

First, we had Spectator editor Fraser Nelson whose former long-time political editor James Forsyth is now a senior figure in the Downing Street operation and was Sunak’s best man at his wedding.

Nelson wrote dismissively: “The idea of a Sunakite cabal orchestrating it all is imaginary: Dorries needs to blame every one of her colleagues who refused to serve in Johnson’s government. And they did so because they could not take any more of the sheer disorder.”

But the more bizarre attack came from Paul Goodman, the editor of ConHome.

In a lengthy rambling piece comparting Dorries to J.K. Rowling, Goodman suggested she had taken the opposite path from the Harry Potter author who had gone from fiction to fact, while the ex-Culture Secretary had gone from fact to fiction.

He concluded: “Dorries’ letter is important not because of what it says, but what it signifies. Maybe the future isn’t Leavers v Remainers, or even Conservative v Labour. Perhaps it’s post-truth v the truth – Dorries v Rowling. I’m for Rowling. You?”

The intention by both to discredit the central allegation made by Dorries is clear.

Not surprisingly, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss allies were unimpressed with the two “establishment Conservative” journalists.

As one ex-Cabinet minister described the attacks as “terrible and desperate”.

On ConHome, the ex-minister added: “It’s been a broken propaganda machine for Rishi for a while.”

Another Boris Johnson ally messaged to describe the ConHome piece as “weird” adding: “They are panicking over Nadine’s book!”

But who is Ms Dorries going to attempt to name and shame?

That currently remains only known to her and she has not been sharing information with her friends and allies.

It is pretty clear that the current Prime Minister is going to have a rough time of it for the coups (plural) which removed Johnson and Truss.

That again explains why he demeaned himself to open the floodgates for political attacks on her remaining as an MP during his LBC interview earlier this month.

What is of more interest is the people behind him.

One Truss ally claims, unsurprisingly, that Michael Gove, Dominic Cummings and Downing Street political fixer Dougie Smith will be named and were at the heat of plots.

Gove and Smith were both sacked by Truss and brought back in by Sunak, although that proves very little in itself.

One ex-cabinet minister though did not hide is disgust at Smith, a man who largely operates in the political shadows, being brought back, describing him to Express.co.uk as “the worst man in politics”.

Personality issues are not rare in politics to say the least but again it does not provide evidence of a conspiracy.

Gove was instrumental in the collapse of the Truss government by leading the rebellion over the abolition of the 45p tax rate for high earners on the verge of the party conference last year.

Others believe the cabal goes back much further back to the “modernisation” process under Cameron and the work of Francis Maude although it is unlilely Dorries will go back so far.

The main attention though will be on who and how Boris Johnson was deposed with what happened to get the Tory MPs on the privileges committee on board with having him effectively ousted from parliament.

One thing that can be guaranteed though is that Ms Dorries’ book will have a devastating effect on the Conservative conference and dominate its events.

Whether it brings down a shaky Sunak premiership or not is speculation but there can be no doubt now that the destruction of the current Prime Minister’s leadership and those who helped him get their in the central goal of Ms Dorries and her allies.

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