Suspended ex-Tory MP Peter Bone ousted from Wellingborough seat by recall petition

Peter Bone recall petition
Credit: PA
Peter Bone had been the MP for Wellingborough since 2005. Credit: PA

Suspended former Tory MP Peter Bone has been ousted from his seat after a recall petition was signed by more than 10% of his constituents.

The MP for Wellingborough in Northamptonshire was suspended from the Commons for six weeks in October after an inquiry found he had subjected a staff member to bullying and sexual misconduct.

North Northamptonshire Council confirmed that a by-election will take place in Wellingborough after 13.2% of the electorate backed the petition to recall Mr Bone.

He was sitting as an independent after losing the Conservative whip.

Mr Bone said after the result was announced that the petition “came about as a result of an inquiry into alleged bullying and misconduct towards an ex-employee which was alleged to have occurred more than 10 years ago. These allegations are totally untrue and without foundation”.

He added: “I will have more to say on these matters in the new year.”

He said 68,897 people “chose not to sign the petition which represents 86.8% of the electorate” and there would be a by-election early next year.

“This seems bizarre as 86.8% of the electorate did not want to remove me from office, nor for there to be a by-election, and yet we are still to have one,” he added.

Finedon Community Centre was one of nine places the petition could be signed. Credit: PA

The six-week process of the recall petition, which was prompted by his suspension, closed at 5pm on Tuesday.

The threshold for his recall to Parliament - a process which means a by-election for the seat must be held - was 10% of the eligible voters in his constituency, equivalent to 7,904 people.

Mr Bone has held the seat for the Conservatives since 2005 and retained it at the last general election with a majority of 18,540.

Mr Bone was found to have “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a staff member in 2012 and 2013.

Parliament’s behaviour watchdog, the Independent Expert Panel, upheld an earlier investigation that found he broke the MPs’ code of conduct on four counts of bullying and one of sexual misconduct.

The panel found that he had indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom of a hotel room during a work trip to Madrid.

Mr Bone has denied the allegations.

The former minister was kicked out of the Tory parliamentary party a day after the report was published on October 16.

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