The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport spends 12 hours every week writing novels and short stories, NationalWorld can reveal.
Nadine Dorries, who was promoted to the cabinet role earlier this year, is a published author who has earned more than £150,000 since January 2020 through book royalties and advance payments.
£157,202 since January 2020
The MP for Mid Bedfordshire has published a number of novels and short stories through Head of Zeus, a publishing firm based in London.
Dorries’ novels, which include the Lovely Lane series and the Four Streets quartet, are mostly set in the post-war north west of England, or Ireland, mirroring Dorries’ background.
Since January 2020, Dorries has earned £157,202 through publishing from royalties and contractual payments received in that time.
In her entry in the register of members’ financial interests, Dorries states that since February 2016 she has spent 12 non-consecutive hours per week working as an author.
Though it is not unusual for MPs to write books, or contribute articles to newspapers or magazines, Dorries is the only minister who regularly does so.
In fact, Dorries is the only minister or cabinet member with a regular time commitment away from her Parliamentary and ministerial duties.
The cultural sector has been among the worst impacted by Covid, with thousands of workers made redundant and many venues closing down over the last 18 months.
A former MP and shadow junior minister who spoke to NationalWorld said that even with a shadow ministerial brief they wouldn’t have felt able to do their job properly alongside a regular commitment.
While there is no rule that expressly forbids ministers from taking on outside work, it is generally assumed that MPs who become ministers will cease their other roles due to the increased ministerial workload.
The Labour Party declined to comment on whether Nadine Dorries should give up her regular work as a novelist.
Both Nadine Dorries and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport failed to respond to multiple requests for comment on this article.
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