Nadine Dorries blames dyslexia after mocking for ‘downstreaming’ and ‘tennis pitch’ muddles


Nadine Dorries has blamed dyslexia after being mocked for muddling her words in a video explaining her work as culture secretary.

Boris Johnson’s key ally spoke of people being able to “downstream” – rather than download – films online and referred to tennis courts as “pitches”.

Gary Lineker retweeted the TikTok video to his 8.4 million followers, adding: “Our minister for sport.”

Another Twitter user mocked Ms Dorries by posting: “There’s a lot of history about that Centre Pitch at Wimbledon and it can be found by downstreaming on the British Internet.”

The culture secretary hit back by arguing her dyslexia means she can find it “difficult” to find the correct expression when speaking.

Dyslexia is described by the NHS as a common learning difficulty that mainly causes problems with reading, writing and spelling.

Another symptom is said to be that a sufferer “misspeaks, misuses, or mispronounces words without realising it”.

Ms Dorries said: “I have dyslexia, which means that when I speak I often run my words together and say things that sound like the words I’m trying to say.

“Dyslexia affects people differently. For me, it affects my speech more than my writing, which is why I find solace in writing.

“I’m OK with that. I’ve been in politics a long time and you grow a thick skin. It’s why I haven’t spoken publicly much about how it affects me. But I’ve found it tough seeing commentators and media outlets mock me for something that is beyond my control.”

The footage, posted online on Friday by Luke Evans, the Tory MP for Bosworth, sees Ms Dorries explaining the work of her Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

“We’re responsible for making sure you have superfast broadband in your home, that means you can downstream your movies,” she told Dr Evans.

The culture secretary said she wanted to “make the internet in the UK the safest internet in the world”.

And she said her department is also “responsible for everything to do with sport, making sure you’ve got football pitches and that you have tennis pitches in your communities where you can play and exercise your sport”.



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