NADINE Dorries, one of Boris Johnson’s fiercest defenders, will stand down as Culture Secretary following his departure from No 10.

In her resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Dorries - a prominent Liz Truss supporter - praised Johnson's "determination and grit", while saying it was time for her to step down. 

She also revealed she was given the opportunity by the next prime minister to carry on in Cabinet but had chosen instead to return to the backbenches, saying she felt "better placed" to support the Government from "outside".

READ MORE: Boris Johnson makes dig at Nicola Sturgeon in final speech as prime minister

It is expected that she will now be given a peerage in Johnson’s resignation honours list, triggering a by-election in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency.

Dorries, alongside Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, was among those who joined the crowd outside 10 Downing Street during Johnson’s resignation speech.

A successful novelist who has sold more than 2.5 million copies, her departure from Government is expected to enable her to return to writing books.

During the leadership campaign, Dorries was an outspoken critic of Rishi Sunak – in one controversial tweet likening him to Brutus stabbing Julius Caesar over the way he had turned on Johnson.

The National:

She accused fellow Tory MPs of staging a “coup” against the outgoing Prime Minister, telling BBC Panorama: “Just the the anti-democratic nature of what they’re doing alone was enough to alarm me. And for me it was a coup.”

She was also among Johnson’s most outspoken defenders during the partygate saga, calling an investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee into whether he lied to MPs a “witch hunt”, adding it represented the “most egregious abuse of power”.

Dorries was appointed Culture Secretary in September last year, having previously served as health minister.

Her term was also marked by a number of gaffes, including appearing not to know how Channel 4 is funded during a committee meeting and confusing rugby league with rugby union at an event to promote the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.

After the news of her expected departure emerged, LibDem leader Sir Ed Davey struck an optimistic tone about his party contesting a by-election for Dorries’s seat in the event she is awarded a peerage.

Asked whether he is confident that his party could win, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Well, we’ve overturned huge Tory majorities in the last year. We will campaign to show that the Conservatives are continuing to take people for granted.

“I started this interview by saying I was shocked that over the summer they’ve not dealt with people’s concerns and anxieties, and I think that’s another example that they don’t seem to get it or care enough.

“I think the messages that have worked when we have beaten the Conservatives in those three historic by election victories, I think they will continue to resonate, because I’ve seen nothing from the Conservatives over the summer to suggest they’ve really changed.”