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Peter Bone stripped of Tory whip over bullying and sexual misconduct findings

17 Oct 2023 4 minute read
Conservative MP Peter Bone. Photo Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

Former minister Peter Bone has had the Tory whip removed after being found to have committed bullying and sexual misconduct against a staff member.

The Conservatives acted a day after a watchdog recommended he should be suspended from the Commons for six weeks – potentially triggering a by-election in his Wellingborough seat.

Mr Bone was alleged to have exposed himself to a member of staff along with a series of acts of bullying.

Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel (IEP) said the MP “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a member of his staff in 2012 and 2013.

A spokeswoman for Chief Whip Simon Hart said: “Following a report by the Independent Expert Panel, the Chief Whip has removed the conservative whip from Peter Bone MP.”

The suspension, if approved by MPs, could lead to the Conservative facing a recall petition that would pave the way for a by-election in the seat, which Mr Bone has held since 2005.

Mr Bone said the allegations are “false and untrue” and “without foundation” as he vowed to continue representing his constituents.

He said an Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) investigation into him “was flawed, procedurally unfair and didn’t comply with its own rules and regulations”.

Mr Bone was made deputy leader of the Commons in 2022 in the dying days of Boris Johnson’s administration.

Inquiry

The Liberal Democrats have demanded an inquiry into what Mr Johnson and other ministers knew about the allegations Mr Bone faced at the time he was given the frontbench role.

Lib Dem Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine has written to the country’s top civil servant Simon Case calling for the investigation.

She said: “We need an urgent inquiry to understand what Conservative ministers knew about the allegations against Peter Bone when these complaints were made.

“Boris Johnson must also be held accountable for his decision to appoint Peter Bone as deputy leader of the Commons despite the complaints made against him.

“Given the failure of the Conservative Party to properly investigate these complaints, it is crucial that we get to the bottom of what happened. The public deserve better than another Conservative Party cover-up.”

Five allegations about Mr Bone were made by a Westminster staffer in October 2021, with a complaint to then-prime minister Theresa May in 2017 going unresolved, according to the IEP report.

The complaints included four allegations of bullying, saying Mr Bone:

– “Verbally belittled, ridiculed, abused and humiliated” his employee;

– “Repeatedly physically struck and threw things” at him, including hitting him with his hand or an object such as a pencil or rolled-up document;

– Imposed an “unwanted and humiliating ritual” on him by forcing him to sit with his hands in his lap when the MP was unhappy with his work; and

– Ostracised the complainant following an incident on a work trip to Madrid.

The complainant also alleged that Mr Bone “repeatedly pressurised” the member of staff to give him a massage in the office and, on a visit to Madrid with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom and bedroom of the hotel room they were sharing.

In his response to the IEP’s findings, Mr Bone said: “As I have maintained throughout these proceedings, none of the misconduct allegations against me ever took place.

“They are false and untrue claims. They are without foundation.”

He said the complainant had not raised the issues during their employment and said ICGS rules meant he could not “detail my views on the huge inconsistencies and lack of evidence in the allegations”.

Mr Bone said he is “discussing with lawyers what action could and should be taken”.


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Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago

The complaints were in Tory HQ system when Boris appointed him, Boris had a habit of doing this and the party faithful STILL supported him.
The full report on the commons web site is terrible.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
7 months ago

Peter “Bone” “stripped” of Tory “whip” for being a bullying sex pest flasher.
Is anyone surprised? I’m not surprised.

He claims they are false AND untrue AND without foundation and he claims the allegations were never made, despite the fact the allegations were made and investigated.

If Bozo is a Poundland Trump, then Boner is a charity shop Bozo. I do enjoy watching the worst of the Tories (which is ALL of the current lot) fall faster than the House of Usher

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

Subject to these allegations being true of course, he must be recalled, dumped and a by election must follow. I have no time for this staunch brexiter and so artificially self appointed first class citizen. I must add though, he was on LBC less than a week ago saying multiculturalism was working in Wellingborough in direct conflict with the Cruella lie to the contrary. Then this happens. The timing is interesting. If this had not happened, would the complaints have remained secret?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Thank you. It was indeed well worth a read. It’s nice to know the Wild West anything goes Party can still be held to account and that standards are still upheld somewhere if not there.

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
7 months ago

Tory whip and sexual misconduct seem to accompany one another on many occassion.

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