Rishi Sunak faces fresh by-election nightmare after Peter Bone ousted as MP

Rishi Sunak is facing another potentially bruising by-election after voters backed a petition to remove disgraced Tory MP Peter Bone.

Some 13.2 per cent -of the electorate in Wellingborough voted for the recall petition, triggering a by-election.

The Wellingborough MP was suspended from the Commons for six weeks in October after an inquiry found he had subjected a staff member to bullying and sexual misconduct.

He had been sitting as an independent after losing the Conservative whip.

But Mr Bone will no longer be an MP – though he will be allowed to stand in the by-election.

The former Tory MP reacted with fury tonight, declaring on social media: “68,897 people chose not to sign the petition which represents 86.8 per cent of the electorate.

“As the number of people who signing the petition exceeds 10 per cent, there will be a Parliamentary by-election early next year.

“This seems bizarre as as 86.8 per cent of the electorate did not want to remove me from office, nor for there to be a by-election, and yet we are still to have one.

“I would like to thank all those people who have contacted me across the political spectrum. It has been most kind of so many people to have taken the time to contact me.

“The recall petition came about as a result of an inquiry into alleged bullying and misconduct towards an ex-employee which was alleged to have occurred more than 10 years ago.

“These allegations are totally untrue and without foundation.

“I will have more to say on these matters in the new year.”

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.

Parliament’s behaviour watchdog, the 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.

The panel found that he had indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom of a hotel room during a work trip to Madrid.

Mr Bone has denied the allegations.

The former minister was kicked out of the Tory parliamentary party a day after the report was published on October 16.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

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