Wellingborough MP Peter Bone suspended from House of Commons over bullying and sexual misconduct
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A motion to suspend Mr Bone had been made after an investigation found he had bullied a former member of staff and exposed his genitals close to his face.
A report published by an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) on October 16 found Mr Bone had committed a series of serious acts against a young aide including telling him to give him massages and pushing beds together in a shared hotel room.
He also repeatedly shouted at him and hit him. The independent watchdog said the behaviour amounted to both bullying and sexual misconduct over a three-month period in 2012. Mr Bone has denied the allegations.
The panel recommended a six-week suspension from Parliament – which is above the threshold to trigger a recall petition under the Recall of MPs Act.
Earlier in the proceedings, Liam Fox MP (Con) had asked the whether a news article published today by the BBC had been an ‘undue attempt to influence’ and manipulate members of parliament on the day of a vote.
He asked the Speaker if he would seek legal advice if the BBC report – which had an interview with the former aide who had made the complaints – had been a contempt on the House.
But Deputy Speaker Rosie Winterton clarified the question saying it was procedural advice not legal advice that should have been sought.
No MPs said ‘no’ leaving the ayes to pass the motion unopposed.
Now Mr Bone has been suspended from parliament, as well as losing the Conservative party whip, voters across the Wellingborough constituency can sign a recall petition.
A recall petition can trigger a by-election if more than 10 per cent of the eligible registered voters sign the petition at a signing station or sign by post or by proxy – at the 2019 general election the electorate was 80,765.
If more than 10 per cent (more than 8,077 people) sign the recall petition in the six-week window, the petition officer informs the Speaker of the House of Commons.
On the giving of that notice the seat becomes vacant and a by-election required. The recalled MP may stand as a candidate.
If the 10 per cent threshold is not reached, the recall fails and the MP retains their seat.
The Northants Telegraph has contacted Mr Bone for a comment.
He has denied the allegations.