Tories Face Blackpool South Byelection As Scott Benton Loses Suspension Appeal

An independent panel has dismissed Blackpool South MP Scott Benton’s appeal against a proposed suspension from the House of Commons after he was caught in a lobbying sting (pictured below). He is now set to be suspended from the Commons.

Now that the 35-day suspension has been upheld by the independent panel, MPs will vote on the punishment for MP Benton and if passed, this will trigger a recall petition that will result in a by-election if 10% of constituents vote for it.

Currently Independent, Scott Benton was suspended from the Tory parliamentary party last April after suggesting to an undercover reporter at The Times that he would be willing to break lobbying rules for money. A subsequent investigation by the Standards Committee found he had committed a ‘very serious breach’ of the rules and recommended a 35-day suspension from the House of Commons. However, MP Benton denied wrongdoing and appealed the suspension to the Independent Expert Panel (IEP), the body that sits above the Parliamentary Standards Committee. Today (Tuesday 20th February), he lost his appeal.

The Conservatives won Blackpool South in 2019 with a majority of just 3,690. Labour has been preparing for the byelection in Blackpool South since before Christmas, and has a candidate installed – Chris Webb.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, said: ‘Scott Benton should do the decent thing and resign, saving the people of Blackpool South a lengthy recall petition that would leave them without the representation they deserve. This is yet another by-election caused by Tory scandal. Britain deserves better than this carousel of Conservative chaos. Labour’s Chris Webb is Blackpool born and bred, and ready to deliver a fresh start for Blackpool South.’


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