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Ex-Tory MP Scott Benton to appeal proposed suspension over lobbying scandal | Politics News

Former Conservative MP Scott Benton has said he will appeal his recommended suspension from parliament and intends to make a formal complaint over it.

The Blackpool MP was suspended from the parliamentary Tory party in April after being caught in an undercover sting by The Times suggesting he would be willing to break lobbying rules for money.

Following an investigation into the matter, the Committee on Standards on Thursday recommended a 35-day suspension from the House of Commons, paving the way for a potential by-election.

The committee said Mr Benton committed an “extremely serious breach” of the rules by giving the message “he was corrupt and ‘for sale’ and that so were many other Members of the House”.

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Responding for the first time to the Standards report, Mr Benton said: “I will today be submitting a formal complaint to the House Authorities, as well as appealing the decision of the committee in due course.”

In his statement, Mr Benton claimed the report’s findings had been leaked to journalists the night before it was due to be published.

He said while he was “sworn to secrecy” and told he could only read the judgment an hour before it would be made public on Thursday morning, the committee “did not adhere to its own standards and principles”.

He said: “The night before the report was published, people on the Committee on Standards leaked contents of the report to a journalist and I was contacted on the evening before publication repeatedly by members of the press. This was not the first such leak whilst the investigation was taking place.

“This process is designed to be open, fair, honest and transparent so the public and MPs can have trust in the process.

“This trust has been breached by Members of the Committee. I can’t have faith in a standards process that doesn’t adhere to its own ethics, standards and principles.”

He claimed that the report into his conduct…

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This notice was published: 2023-12-15 15:12:00

By Sky News

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