Peter Bone: Worker 'left broken shell’ by Wellingborough Tory MP as Commons votes on suspension

Peter Bone
Credit: PA
A six-week suspension has been recommended for Peter Bone. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The victim at the heart of a complaint against a former government minister Peter Bone has described being a 'broken shell' at the way they were treated while working for the Wellingborough MP.

Mr Bone, who has been accused of bullying and exposing himself to the complainant, faces a vote by MPs on whether he should be suspended from the Commons.

The complainant at the centre of the case said they have been left with PTSD after being bullied while working for the MP more than 10 years ago.

It comes after Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel (IEP) said the Wellingborough MP “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a member of his staff.

The recommended six-week suspension, if approved by MPs, could lead to Mr Bone – who has had the Tory whip removed – facing a recall petition that would pave the way for another possible by-election.

A by-election would be triggered if the recall petition, which would be put to Mr Bone's constituents, is signed by 10% of the electorate.

Speaking to BBC News, the alleged complainant – who remains anonymous due to the sexual nature of the complaints – spoke about the alleged "physical, emotional, psychological abuse" they had endured.

The former aide also criticised the handling of his complaint by the Conservatives, claiming they were "effectively ghosted" by the party.

Mr Bone has said the allegations were "false and untrue" and "without foundation" and vowed to continue representing his constituents.

Mr Bone said he believed the panel's process was "flawed". Credit: PA

The alleged complainant said that the experience had seem them diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It unfortunately became this horrid, brutal, dark experience that left me a broken shell of the [person] I once was,” the alleged complainant said.

“Peter’s behaviour was erratic. His temper was often explosive. I described it as like a, like a pendulum. He would go from one type of, kind of, personality to another. It was very hard to predict. And that kind of… left me feeling quite under siege… a kind of siege mentality in terms of the relentless shouting, the screaming, the hitting."

A Conservative spokesperson told the broadcaster that the case had been investigated under the party’s previous code of conduct and complaints process.

The party said that the alleged complainant had withdrawn from the process before the case was heard.

"Under the current process, the complainant’s case would have been referred to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme as it is a workplace matter, not a party matter," the spokesperson told the BBC.

Five allegations about Mr Bone were made by the Westminster staffer in October 2021, with a complaint to then-prime minister Theresa May in 2017 going unresolved, according to the IEP report.

What are the complaints against Peter Bone?

The complaints against Mr Bone are:

 - That he "repeatedly pressurised" the member of staff to give him a massage in the office and indecently exposed himself to the complainant in a hotel room.

– "Verbally belittled, ridiculed, abused and humiliated" his employee;

– "Repeatedly physically struck and threw things" at him, including hitting the employee with his hand or an object;

– Imposed an "unwanted and humiliating ritual" on the staff member by forcing them to sit with their hands in their lap when the MP was unhappy with their work.

In his response to the IEP’s findings, Mr Bone said: “As I have maintained throughout these proceedings, none of the misconduct allegations against me ever took place.

“They are false and untrue claims. They are without foundation.”

He said the complainant had not raised the issues during their employment and said ICGS rules meant he could not “detail my views on the huge inconsistencies and lack of evidence in the allegations”.

Mr Bone said he is “discussing with lawyers what action could and should be taken”.

Any by-election would see Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives battling to keep the Wellingborough seat Mr Bone has held since 2005.

The party last week suffered two damaging by-election defeats in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire, with Labour securing huge vote swings.

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