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By-election triggered after Tory MP caught in lobby sting quits

26 Mar 2024 2 minute read
Conservative MP Scott Benton. Photo Beresford Hodge/PA Wire

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a by-election challenge within weeks after the Government formally triggered the contest to replace an MP caught in a lobbying sting.

Business in the House of Commons on Tuesday started with Government Chief Whip Simon Hart issuing the writ for the vacant seat of Blackpool South.

The by-election has to take place between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of the writ, suggesting it will take place on May 2 – the same day as local elections.

Scott Benton, who won the seat for the Conservatives in December 2019 with a majority of 3,690, announced on Monday that he would quit Parliament rather than wait for the outcome of a recall petition.


Mr Benton was last month suspended from the House of Commons for 35 days after he was found to have breached Commons rules.

It came after he was filmed by The Times offering to lobby ministers and table parliamentary questions on behalf of gambling investors.

Mr Benton was stripped of the Tory whip after the allegations surfaced and had been sitting as an independent.


He said he was “deeply disappointed” with the outcome and described the findings as “unjust”.

A recall petition opened against Mr Benton earlier this month. A by-election would have been triggered if 10% of voters in Blackpool South had signed it by April 22.

But his immediate exit allowed the contest to be brought forward.

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

Corruption follows the Tories around like a bad smell doesn’t it. Yet another by-election giving fixed grin man Rishy Sunak a thumping headache and likely a loss of another red wall constituency won in 2019. We need a general election sooner than later. How much more of this can the longsuffering electorate tolerate? It’s like Tory toothache. I want to rip my face off the pain is so unbearable.

#YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. #PlaidCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 #Conservatives 🇬🇧 #NeoNastyParty 🇬🇧

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
3 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Don’t worry, at this rate there won’t be any need for a general election – with all the by-elections the tories are losing they’ll soon be minority party.

3 months ago

ooooh, same as local elections in England? That could be useful if the prognosis is bad, hiding bad news and all that.

Now, why did he resign? Rumour mill of the likely outcome of the recall petition a bit of a worry? Or has a newspaper got more dirt…..

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
3 months ago

YET another scandal born of arrogance.

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