New culture secretary Nadine Dorries is already facing a backlash over her appointment as some of her previous controversial statements were widely shared on social media as Boris Johnson’s reshuffle was ongoing.
Dorries, who had a short-lived stint on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here in 2012, takes over the post from Oliver Dowden, having previously served as a junior health minister.
But soon after the promotion, critics were raising concerns over the move, including a past accusation of thinking “brown women look the same”. As a backbench, she also once admitted writing a blog that was “70% fiction” to reassure constituents about how hard she was working.
In 2013, Dorries was forced to defend herself against racism accusations after a bizarre claim on Twitter that a mixed-race MP looked like former boxer Chris Eubank.
Dorries claimed that then-Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna looked more like Eubank than Barack Obama, to whom he had previously been compared.
Dorries wrote: “Apparently I’m racist because I think Chuck (sic) Umunna looks like Chris Eubank? What would I be if I said he looked like someone who was white??”
It came as Umunna faced embarrassing claims that his own staff had altered his Wikipedia page to include comparisons with Obama.