Return Tory whip to Nadine Dorries, says her local party

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Media caption,

Nadine Dorries: "Just about every person knows who I am"

The local party of MP Nadine Dorries is to recommend she be allowed to return to the Parliamentary Conservative Party, the BBC has learned.

She was suspended after she flew to Australia to appear on the ITV show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here.

The chair of the local party is expected to inform the Chief Whip of the decision later.

David Cameron said Ms Dorries needed to earn the affection of her colleagues before she could return.

Paul Duckett, Chair of the Mid-Bedfordshire Conservative Association, told BBC Three Counties Radio that local party members had decided unanimously to back her return to the parliamentary party.

He said there was feeling in the constituency that it wanted a Conservative representative in Parliament.

'Waltzed off'

Mr Duckett said Chief Whip Sir George Young had been waiting for an indication of the local party's views before announcing whether he would restore the Conservative whip.

However, there was no guarantee Ms Dorries will be selected to stand as a Conservative in the 2015 General Election, Mr Duckett added.

Ms Dorries was the first contestant to be voted off the reality show, which was won by the EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks, and currently sits in Parliament without representing any party.

In his first comment on the Mid-Bedfordshire MP's TV appearance, Mr Cameron said: "I believe MPs should either be in their constituencies fighting for their constituents or at Westminster standing up for their area."

"A lot of MPs were angry that she just waltzed off to the jungle. "

The prime minister refused to say when Ms Dorries might be allowed back into the party, adding: "She has got to earn her way back into the affections of her colleagues."

Ms Dorries insists she was given permission to take a holiday by the former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, although Mr Mitchell has insisted he was not told what she was planning to do with her time off.

She told the BBC's Sunday Politics she expected to be the Conservative candidate in her current seat at the 2015 general election.

And she defended her decision to go on the show, suggesting that other MPs have spent a longer time away from the UK, either on holiday or unofficial business.

She said she was "doing something different" with her holiday by going on the ITV show.