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Fresh by-election looms for Sunak after Peter Bone is suspended for bullying

25 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Conservative MP Peter Bone. Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Another by-election for Rishi Sunak to defend is looming after Tory MP Peter Bone was suspended for six weeks for bullying and sexual misconduct against a staff member.

The House of Commons on Wednesday approved the sanction against the MP for Wellingborough, who is sitting as an independent after losing the Conservative whip.

A recall petition will be arranged which will trigger a by-election if signed by 10% of voters in the Northamptonshire constituency.

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.

That is smaller than the majorities the Tories had held in both Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire in 2019, and they both fell to Labour in by-elections last week.

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.

The MP said the allegations were “false and untrue” and “without foundation” last week, but he was kicked out of the Tory parliamentary party the next day.

Parliament’s 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.


He “verbally belittled, ridiculed, abused and humiliated” the employee and “repeatedly physically struck and threw things” at him.

Mr Bone was found to have indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom of a hotel room during a work trip to Madrid.

He also imposed an “unwanted and humiliating ritual” on the man by forcing him to sit with his hands in his lap when the MP was unhappy with his work, the investigation found.

The complainant at the centre of the case has told the BBC it was a “horrid, brutal, dark experience that left me a broken shell of the young man I once was”.

“His temper was often explosive. I described it as like a pendulum,” he said, adding that Mr Bone’s behaviour was “relentless”.

He accused the Conservative Party of having “effectively ghosted” him for three years after he first reported the allegations, with a complaint going to then-prime minister Theresa May in 2017.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle is seeking procedural advice after Tory former minister Liam Fox raised concerns of a possible contempt of Parliament caused by the BBC interview.

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Sarah Good
Sarah Good
5 months ago

More sexual assault and harassment from a Tory MP against a male staff member.
It makes you wonder why Tories are so despicably hateful towards LGBT people.
Maybe it’s the whole toxic “buggery at private school is character building” tradition.

5 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Good

Probably more to do with being an obnoxious weirdo than being gay/queer/bi or whatever. Bone would probably bone a hedgehog if it was the only thing available. Departure is long overdue.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
5 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

He certainly is that.

Jeff Morgan
Jeff Morgan
5 months ago

Cons sat in this complaint for ages.

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