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April 10, 2014

Nadine Dorries vs The Telegraph: ‘Giving her book to Christopher Howse was like asking Polly Toynbee to review Andy McNab’

By Axegrinder

Axegrinder reported yesterday how the Telegraph’s Mandrake column team found themselves banned from the Nadine Dorries book-launch party this week over what her publisher's PR described as a “slew of nasty coverage”.

Now her literary agent Piers Blofeld has hit back telling Axegrinder: “I have never before in my career encountered this level of sustained abuse by a media organisation against one author.

“From Wednesday last week nearly every single day they have run sneery attack pieces culminating in Tim Walker’s silly piece today about being disinvited."

Here's what the Telegraph has written about The Four Streets – which is described by its publisher as: "A heartbreaking family saga set in 1950s Liverpool, the first novel from the stunningly talented Nadine Dorries MP."

April 3: Holy Mary, Nadine Dorries' new book will be a best seller

To be sure, it was tough growing up an impoverished Catholic in 1950s Liverpool. But, we learn in Nadine Dorries’ debut semi-autobiographical novel The Four Streets, they had great craic, endless Guinness and an unshakeable faith in the Baby Jesus.

April 4: Quiz: Who said what? Nadine Dorries or Father Ted

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April 5: Nadine Dorries and a tale of Mersey and misery

As Nadine Dorries MP publishes a novel about a fictional girl’s poverty-stricken Liverpool childhood, we imagine what lies within

8 April: The Four Streets by Nadine Dorries, review: 'the worst novel I've read in 10 years'

Blofeld also suggested that the Telegraph's resident WG Grace lookalike wasn't the best choice of reviewer for the Dorries book: “Nadine’s novel is a wonderful moving family saga, which better judges than me have compared to the best of Maeve Binchy: giving it to Christopher Howse to review is a bit like asking Polly Toynbee to review the latest Andy McNab."

He said: “There comes a point where you have to say why should you come to the party so you can write another negative piece?”

Telegraph Mandake column editor Walker told Axegrinder: "I note that Nadine deleted a tweet in which she had accused me of 'telling porkies.' She also began a tweet to me with the letters 'FFS'.

"I think this sort of thing is not merely silly, it makes it hard for us to respect parliamentarians in general. They should be like us, of course, but they should be like us at our best. She comes out of this looking very thin-skinned and at best eccentric."

Meanwhile Howse suggests that any conspiracy theories are wide of the mark: "I rather admire Nadine Dorries, and I hoped her novel would be good. 

"Reading it spoiled my weekend. It's just so badly told: a sagging narrative with a castration fantasy stuck on top. It's not my fault.

"I wasn't invited to the party anyway, but if we meet in future I hope we'd speak civilly."

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