Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton has Tory whip withdrawn pending conduct investigation

How significant is the withdrawal? ITV News' Kathryn Samson explains

A Conservative backbench MP has had the Tory whip withdrawn pending an investigation into allegations about his conduct.

MP for Somerton and Frome David Warburton has been suspended from the party, the Whips' Office said on Saturday.

The claims about Mr Warburton, 56, who sits on the backbenches, are being examined by Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

The Telegraph has said the claims relate to sexual misconduct and drugs, and that the ICGS received a report claiming the MP had behaved inappropriately. He is reported to deny any wrongdoing.

Mr Warburton is cited as telling the newspaper: “I have enormous amounts of defence, but unfortunately the way that things work means that doesn’t come out first.

“I have heard nothing whatsoever from the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. I’m sorry, I can’t comment any further.”

A spokesperson for the Whips' Office said: “David Warburton MP has had the Conservative Party whip removed while the investigation is ongoing.”

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Mr Warburton was first elected in 2015 with a majority of 20,268, or 53% of the vote. According to the MP’s website, at 18.3%, this represented the largest constituency swing to the Conservative Party. He was re-elected in 2017 and 2019, with majorities of 22,906 and 19,213, respectively. He is the current chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music and was previously a member of the Commons European Scrutiny Committee. Prior to being an MP, Mr Warburton’s site says he taught music for five years at an inner-city mixed community school in London before founding the technology company The Music Solution Ltd in 1999, which later became Pitch Entertainment Group. He went on to set up two building property restoration and development companies in 2009, his website says, and co-founded the online business MyHighSt in 2012.