Nadine Dorries accused left-wing activists of ‘hijacking’ social media – adding that people are too afraid to say what they think for fear of being ‘canceled’.
In her first TV interview since becoming Culture Secretary, the Member for Liverpudlian criticized the “cancellation of culture” for scaring young people into serious debate.
She also said she had no plans to “engage in a cultural battle” after being called “Minister of Culture Wars” by The Observer last month, a label she described as “what the others say about me, not what I say “. ‘
The label arose out of the politician’s candid tweets, before she took on her new role, in which she lambasted “left-wing snowflakes” for “ruinous comedy” and accused the BBC of left-wing bias. .
In her first TV interview since becoming Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries (pictured) said she was not considering “going into a culture war battle”.
Speaking to BBC Culture Editor-in-Chief Katie Razzall on Tuesday (pictured together) Ms Dorries criticized ‘culture cancellation’ for scaring young people out of serious debate
She also said she had no plans to “engage in a cultural battle” after being labeled “Minister of Culture Wars” by The Observer last month, a label she described as ” what others say about me, not what I say ”
Speaking to BBC Culture Editor-in-Chief Katie Razzall on Tuesday, Ms Dorries also said she did not agree with the removal of statues and artwork dedicated to historical figures .
She said: “Sometimes I think we just need to tone down the condemnation and judgment, assess and engage a little more than we do.
“I think social media is probably contributing a lot to it.
“People are scared because of the amplification in the social media echo chambers.”
The MP said she supported some of her outspoken tweets, including one in 2017 in which she said “left-wing snowflakes are killing comedy”.
Ms Dorries said some comedians have recently expressed similar concerns, adding: “I just said that first.”
She added that the tweets are aimed at those “on the left who have hijacked this space”, not those who “want to talk seriously about these issues.”
On the idea of removing statues and works of art dedicated to historical figures linked to the slave trade or other troublesome pasts, she said: “You can’t, with all this culture of cancellation, erase everything as if it hadn’t happened and pretend nothing had happened.
The MP said she supported some of her outspoken tweets, including one in 2017 in which she said “left-wing snowflakes are killing comedy”
Nadine Dorries denies using her new role to influence BBC coverage after tweet to Laura Kuenssberg
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg
Nadine Dorries urged MPs on Thursday not to use her new role as Culture Secretary to pressure BBC media coverage.
It came after a tweet she wrote on Wednesday that was addressed to the company’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
The post was a response to a tweet from Ms Kuenssberg, who quoted an anonymous Tory MP as saying Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “weak” and his authority “was evaporating”.
In a now deleted tweet, Ms Dorries replied: “Laura, I love and respect you very much, but we both know this text is ridiculous, although nowhere near as ridiculous as the person – clearly totally desperate for it. your attention – who sent this. ‘
The interaction was brought up in Parliament the next day by Labor MP Jo Stevens.
Ms Stevens said: “Would she agree with me that it is entirely inappropriate for a government minister overseeing licensing negotiations to seek to influence editorial decisions, including how the Prime Minister has been? interviewed, and use the threat to cut BBC licensing funding while doing so? “
To which Ms Dorries replied: “I didn’t reprimand Laura Kuenssberg, someone who is perhaps the best in the business… some members opposite seem to have a hard time understanding a 240 character composition.
“The tweet was completely misinterpreted, I wasn’t berating Laura Kuenssberg and never would.”
Ms Dorries added that she was “on the verge of reaching an agreement” with the BBC on the cost of the license over the next five years.
The deal should force the company to make more cuts.
“You cannot erase our history, whether it is good or bad. “
It comes after the Bank of England removed eight paintings and two busts of former governors and directors linked to the slave trade this summer.
As Culture Secretary, Ms Dorries’ to-do list includes pricing a television license for the next five years, making a decision on the privatization of Channel 4, and passing a new law to protect young people online.
She also just announced the Culture Recovery Fund, a £ 107million grant to help up to 1,000 arts and heritage organizations recover from the Covid pandemic.
But in her interview this week, Ms Dorries, who is also a bestselling author, said she described some of the negative reactions to her new role as “quite misogynistic”.
Comedian Dom Joly said it was “like the result of a drunken bet” while comedian Mark Thomas said she “wrote more books” than she read.
“People were making these comments for a political attack and nothing else,” Ms Dorries told the BBC.
“I just found them really nasty. “
Ms Dorries grew up in one of Liverpool’s poorest areas and said her priority was to help young people from backgrounds like hers get involved in the arts, culture and sport.
“These people in these circles come in all colors and all sexualities, but are we taking care of everyone when we talk about diversity? ” she said.
The politician said the new round of funding for the Culture Recovery Fund will help institutions “during the recovery period”.
Renowned institutions such as the Bristol Old Vic, the National Youth Theater and the English National Symphony Orchestra will receive support, while Leeds Grand Theater and Opera House will receive the largest amount, with a grant of £ 1,288,643.
The English National Ballet in London and the Marlowe Theater in Canterbury also received large sums of £ 1,103,842 and £ 1,000,000 respectively.
The Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) said the money for the first time provided “lifelines” to organizations supported by the fund, including regional theaters, local museums and independent cinemas.
The funding was praised by celebrities such as Dame Judi Dench, Clive Owen, Rebecca Hall and Mike Leigh.
The DCMS said £ 30million would be paid to theaters to provide vital continuity support and keep the doors open for pantos and other plays over the Christmas period.
Theater organizations that will benefit from the latest round of funding include the Royal Exchange Theater Company, the Young Vic Company, the Theater Royal in Bath and the North Devon Theaters.
The London Transport Museum, the University of Warwick and Y Not Festivals UK also received funding.
The musical charity Military Wives Choirs, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary next year, has received a grant of £ 92,000.