NADINE Dorries has announced she is stepping down as an MP “with immediate effect”.

The former culture secretary tweeted that it had been an “honour” to represent Mid Bedfordshire in Westminster.

She served under Boris Johnson from 2021 to 2022 and was one of the former prime minister’s most vocal allies when he was ousted last year.

“I have today informed the chief whip that I am standing down as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, with immediate effect,” she said.

“It has been an honour to serve as the MP for such a wonderful constituency but it is now time for another to take the reins."

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak under pressure to veto Boris Johnson's 'crony' honours list

Since leaving the Government, Dorries has been a vocal critic of the Tories from the backbenches, accusing Johnson’s successors of having no mandate to govern.

She was best known as the face of the Conservatives’ shelved plans to privatise Channel 4 and her critics regularly said Dorries did not have a good command of her brief.

Speculation was rife Johnson would reward Dorries’ unflinching loyalty by elevating her to the House of Lords but The Times reported on Friday that she had been taken off his honours list because of concerns about the damage two by-elections could cause the Tories.

Her resignation came just hours after she told TalkTV the “last thing” she wanted to do was trigger a by-election in her constituency and insisted she did not know whether she would be made a peer. 

READ MORE: Ex-minister Nadine Dorries admits Tories are repellent

But her Mid Bedfordshire seat will be up for grabs and the LibDems, resurgent against the scandal-ridden Conservatives, say they think they can claim it.

A Liberal insider told The Telegraph on Thursday: “This is a rural seat in the heart of the Blue Wall, and it’s clear it will be a two horse race between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.”

The seat has been held by the Conservatives since 1931 and Labour have come a distant second in the last three elections.

Even in 2010, the LibDems’ strongest electoral performance in recent history, the party managed to collect 24.9% of the vote.