Senior Tory MP Julian Knight says removal of whip 'wrong and unjustified'

Julian Knight said he will be recusing himself from Parliament Credit: PA Media

A senior MP who has had the Tory whip removed after a complaint was made to the police has branded the move "wrong and unjustified".

Julian Knight, the Tory MP for Solihull, said he will be recusing himself from Parliament until the matter is resolved.

He also suggested he could be the target of a "campaign of rumour and innuendo".

The Conservatives removed the whip from Mr Knight on Wednesday after a complaint was made to the Metropolitan Police, the party said - meaning he no longer sits in the Commons as a Tory.

Mr Knight is the chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee and has represented Solihull in the West Midlands since 2015.

In a series of tweets on Thursday morning, Mr Knight said: "I have heard nothing from the police, the Whips Office or Parliament’s Internal Grievance Service, or been the subject of any investigation by the latter.

"Nor have I ever been warned or spoken to by the Whips Office about any allegations of misconduct.

"I believe their withdrawal of the whip is wrong and unjustified.

"Some months ago I accepted the resignation of a staff member following a full inquiry into his conduct regarding House of Commons security issues and, separately, allegations of bullying against him.

"Subsequently, I have received what my lawyers advise are explicit threats involving blackmail, as well as being at the centre of a campaign of rumour and innuendo.

"All matters are now with my lawyers and I will be recusing myself from Parliament until the matter is resolved."

A spokeswoman for Chief Whip Simon Hart, who took the action, declined to comment on the nature of the complaint.