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Pictures: Blast attack at MP's office

Conservative Hall in Bourne cordoned off by police after explosion Credit: ITV Yorkshire
Police at the scene of the explosion Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A police cordone has been set up around the scene of an explosion at the MP for Grantham and Stamford, Nick Boles's, constituency office in Bourne. A man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

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MP condemns blast at offices

An MP whose offices were damaged after an explosion, has issued a statement condemning the "act of violence." Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles was not at the Conservative Hall in Bourne at the time of the blast and no one was injured. A man has been arrested in connection with the attack.

Obviously I deplore this act of violence. The incident is being investigated by police and I know that everyone will do whatever they can to support the investigation. In the meantime, we should all carry on doing our jobs as normal"

– Nick Boles, Grantham and Stamford MP

A police spokesman said officers attended the scene and minor damage had been caused to the building.


Man arrested following explosion in Lincolnshire

Police have arrested a man following an explosion at Conservative Hall in Burghley Street, Bourne, at around 1:24am this morning.

Officers attended the scene and minor damage had been caused to the building and no one had been hurt.

Initial inquiries were carried out and a 24-year-old local man was arrested in connection with the incident. He is currently helping police with their inquires.

Early indications suggest this incident is not linked to any wider issues or recent events in the county.

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Yeo claims follow Patrick Mercer resignation

Patrick Mercer resigned from his party over lobbying claims. Credit: PA

The allegations against Tim Yeo come just a week after another Conservative MP, the backbencher Patrick Mercer (pictured), was forced to resign the party whip after being caught up in a another set of lobbying claims.

As a result of those claims, the Speaker, John Bercow, reportedly suspended more than 80 House of Commons passes and the government promised to bring forward a bill to introduce a statutory register of political lobbyists.

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MP accused of tabling questions for fake lobbying firm

Patrick Mercer MP filmed by BBC Panorama Credit: BBC Panorama/The Telegraph

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer has been accused of breaking parliamentary rules by offering to provide a Commons pass for lobbyists and tabling parliamentary questions in return for money.

Secret filming by BBC Panorama and The Telegraph appears to show Mercer agreeing to table parliamentary questions after being paid by a fake lobbying firm. The questions were drafted by undercover reporters purporting to be lobbyists for businesses with interests in Fiji, the Telegraph alleges.

Mr Mercer is also captured on camera agreeing to approve a parliamentary pass for a "representative" for the fake firm. He said:

"I do not charge a great deal of money for these things. I would normally come out at £500 per half day, so £1,000 a day."

Parliamentary rules ban MPs from undertaking "paid advocacy" on behalf of paying clients. Mr Mercer said he is taking legal advice on the allegations.


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Mercer 'to remain in Commons as Independent MP'

Tory MP Patrick Mercer will remain in the Commons as an Independent MP, despite resigning the party whip over allegations that he broke Parliamentary rules.

In light of the allegations being made against him, Patrick has decided to resign the whip from the Conservative Party while a proper investigation is undertaken.

Until such time as the investigation is concluded, Patrick will be an Independent Member of Parliament and not subject to the rules of the local party.

Patrick has always been a dedicated, hard-working and popular local MP and we will be saddened if these allegations are proven.

Until such time as there has been a full and proper investigation, in line with British justice, we shall neither pre-judge nor pre-empt the outcome.

– Stuart Wallace, chairman of the Newark Conservative Association
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Councillor saw Patrick Mercer as a 'very solid citizen'

Councillors in Patrick Mercer's constituency of Newark, where he has a 16,000 majority, have expressed their shock at the news of his resignation.

Councillor Peter Duncan said he always thought of Mr Mercer as "a very solid citizen".

He added: "If this news is true then I am shocked. I thought he was a very strong individual with a strong point of view. He will be missed."

Another Tory councillor Derek Evans said: "I'm very surprised at the news. I've a lot of trust and faith in Patrick. I have utter faith in him as an MP."

Profile of Newark MP Patrick Mercer

Patrick Mercer became MP for Newark in 2001 Credit: Johnny Green/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Before entering Parliament in 2001 Patrick Mercer OBE spent 25 years as an army officer with the Sherwood Foresters, following in the footsteps of his father who had served in the same regiment during the Second World War.

During this time, Mr Mercer served in a number of countries, including Northern Ireland where he completed nine tours. As well as serving in Uganda, he commanded his battalion in both Bosnia and Canada.

His parliamentary career took off in 2001, when he overturned a Labour majority of 3,000 to become MP for Newark.

In 2003, he was appointed to the frontbench by the then Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and became the party's spokesman on homeland security.

He continued to speak for the Tories on issues of national security even after Mr Duncan Smith was succeeded by Michael Howard, and later David Cameron.

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Panorama investigating lobbying and MP conduct

BBC's Panorama show said they have been investigating lobbying and conduct of MPs and members of the House of Lords and sought a response from "a number of people including Mr Mercer." In a statement the broadcaster said:

BBC Panorama has been investigating lobbying and the conduct of MPs and members of the House of Lords.

The programme is still being made and will be broadcast as soon as possible. The investigation has raised a number of issues related to those involved. Panorama has sought responses from a number of people including Mr Mercer.

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