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By Bishop of Leeds
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By-election Triggered To Replace Conservative MP Peter Bone

Former Conservative MP Peter Bone (Alamy)

2 min read

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing another by-election after Conservative Peter Bone was removed as the MP for Wellingborough by his constituents on Tuesday night.

Over thirteen per cent of people in the constituency tonight backed a recall petititon into Bone, surpassing the 10% threshold which is needed to remove a sitting MP.

The Tory majority in Wellingborough is nearly 19,000, which would usually be a comfortable lead. However, Labour will have its eyes on another major by-election upset as opinion polls continue to give Keir Starmer's party large, double-digit leads over Sunak's Conservatives.

In October, Labour overturned a Conservative majority of over 24,000 to win the Mid Bedfordshire by-election.

Bone had the Tory party whip removed in October after an independent watchdog found that he carried out acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct.

A report by the Independent Expert Panel said Bone "committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct" between 2012 and 2013, amounting to a "serious case of misconduct".

Speaking at the time, Bone said the allegations were "false and untrue".

He was elected as an MP in 2005 and served as deputy leader of the House of Commons in the government of former prime minister Boris Johnson.

Anneliese Dodds MP, Chair of the Labour Party, said the decision by Bone's constituents on Tuesday to remove him from office shows that "Wellingborough is ready for change". Labour's candidate in Wellingborough is Gen Kitchen.

Dodds said: “The Conservative Party has presided over 13 years of failure, not least in the ‘professionalism, integrity and accountability at all levels’ that Rishi Sunak promised.

“Despite serious allegations made against him, Peter Bone has dragged his constituents through a lengthy recall petition rather than doing the right thing and offering his resignation."

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