Colourful claims about a dead rabbit, a shadowy man called Dr No and a tampered-with CCTV camera are among the highlights of former Tory minister Nadine Dorries's new book, "The Plot".
Reviewing it for The Times, Patrick Maguire described "The Plot" as "the single weirdest book I have ever read"; The Telegraph wondered whether Dorries had "lost the plot"; and The Independent said the book is simply "bizarre".
Here are five of the most eye-catching claims made by the former culture secretary in her "tell-all" memoir.
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Dorries wrote that a "secretive" and "very frightening" figure called "Dr No" has been pulling the strings in the Tory party for decades. According to the book, he has a pass to Downing Street and "Rishi Sunak doesn't move without first seeking his advice", said the BBC.
In a particularly headline-grabbling claim, she said that when a girlfriend ended a relationship with him, he is rumoured to have had her little brother's pet rabbit chopped into four and nailed to the front door of the family home. It is also claimed that he tried to set fire to a house when people were sleeping inside.
The Times noted that Dorries "faced significant legal hurdles in publishing", not least around this allegation. The fact that she was "unable to name the individual" points to her "difficulty in proving" it.
But Dr No isn't the only person who secretly pulls the Tory strings, said Dorries. She claimed that a "shadowy cabal" known as "the Movement" has dominated Conservative politics for two decades.
Michael Gove is alleged to be a pivotal figure in the group, which is said to have been behind the ousting of Iain Duncan Smith as Tory leader in 2003.
Gove is also said to have been central to ousting Boris Johnson last year because the Movement regretted putting him in No.10. A source told Dorries that, after the 2019 election, the Movement was "furious" because "Boris had won too big" and this would make him "difficult to control".
Throughout the book, former colleagues of Dorries emerge in a less than flattering light, said The Independent. Liz Truss is dismissed as "socially inept, awkward, scared, never a leader"; Sajid Javid was "monotone" and "startlingly unimaginative".
The "overly voluble" Grant Shapps "always created an eye roll from colleagues", she wrote, while Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was "underqualified" and Oliver Dowden a "man of little talent".
She goes in even harder on Dominic Cummings, saying the former adviser's personality has been described to her as "dark triad coupled with everyday sadism". His "physical anger towards others" had led some to say he's a "psychopath", she added.
Matt Hancock resigned as health secretary after he was caught on camera breaching social distancing guidance by kissing a colleague.
Dorries, who served as a health minister under Hancock, claimed that the security cameras outside Hancock's office were tampered with before CCTV footage emerged of him kissing Gina Coladangelo.
She wrote that when Hancock was "caught kissing Gina" the security camera was "facing Matt's inner office and inner door" when "other cameras were turned away from the offices and out to the roof balconies". She concluded that "the camera had been tampered with".
Rishi Sunak is under pressure to investigate the book's "bombshell" claim that his party covered up alleged rapes by a Tory MP, said the Daily Mail. Senior figures have called for an inquiry into Dorries's allegation that the Conservatives "sat on the sexual assault claims for years", said the paper.
Former Tory party chair Oliver Dowden did not deny that his party may have secretly funded medical treatment for a woman who told officials she had been raped by a Tory MP. But he rejected suggestions that the party had covered up the actions of an alleged rapist.
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