MP Conor Burns hopeful Conservative's inquiry 'as quick as they were to rush to judgment'

Northern Ireland Office Minister 
Conservative MP 
Conor Burns 
PA Images
Conor Burns had the Conservative Party Whip removed on Friday

Conservative MP Conor Burns said he hopes his party "will be as quick to conduct their enquiry as they were to rush to judgment" after being sacked as minister for Trade following allegations of 'serious misconduct'.

Mr Burns, who is originally from Belfast, was a former Northern Ireland minister until the recent reshuffle under Prime Minister Liz Truss.

On Friday, Mr Burns had his party's whip removed and later took to Twitter where he wrote that he had received a call from Conservative Chief Whip Wendy Morton earlier in the day.

"Ms Morton informed me that a complaint had been received about me and she had passed it to Conservative Campaign Headquarters to investigate," he added.

"I was not given any information about the complaint nor was I asked to provide any information. On the basis of this complaint Ms Morton told me that the Whip was being withdrawn and that I was standing down as Trade Minister. I will fully cooperate with the Party's enquiry and look forward to clearing my name.

"I hope the party will be as quick to conduct their enquiry as they were to rush to judgement," his tweet thread concluded.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "Following a complaint of serious misconduct, the Prime Minister has asked Conor Burns MP to leave the government with immediate effect.

"The Prime Minister took direct action on being informed of this allegation and is clear that all ministers should maintain the high standards of behaviour - as the public rightly expects."

A whips' office spokesman added: "We have suspended the whip pending investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour earlier this week.

"We take all such allegations extremely seriously. The Prime Minister has been clear that the highest standards in public life must be upheld."

In 2020, Mr Burns resigned from government after a watchdog concluded he had attempted to "intimidate a member of the public" by using his privileged position.

The Bournemouth West MP was appointed as Northern Ireland minister in September 2021. He was born in Belfast in 1972 before moving to England when he was a child. He was considered a close ally of Boris Johnson.

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