Peter Bone Loses Tory Whip Over Bullying And Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Peter Bone is now an independent MP after losing the Conservative party whip (Alamy)
Peter Bone MP has had the Conservative party whip removed after an independent watchdog found that he carried out acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct.
Bone, who was elected the MP for Wellingborough in 2005, has had the whip removed following the publication of an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) into allegations against him, a spokesperson for the Government's Chief Whip Simon Hart confirmed.
"Following a report by the Independent Expert Panel, the Chief Whip has removed the conservative whip from Peter Bone MP," they said.
Bone, who served as deputy leader of the House of Commons in the government of former prime minister Boris Johnson, will now sit in the chamber as an independent MP.
The panel said the incidents, which took place between 2012 and 2013, amounted to a "serious case of misconduct".
"[Mr Bone] has been found to have committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct. The bullying involved violence, shouting and swearing, mocking, belittling and humiliating behaviour, and ostracism. It was often in front of others... The respondent specifically targeted the complainant," it said.
"This wilful pattern of bullying also included an unwanted incident of sexual misconduct, when the complainant was trapped in a room with the respondent in a hotel in Madrid, not knowing what was going to happen next.
"This was a deliberate and conscious abuse of power using a sexual mechanism: indecent exposure. It was woven into a pattern of inappropriate behaviour which also included requests for massages of his shoulders and neck and instructions to put hands in laps, including forcibly putting the complainant’s hands in his lap."
The panel recommended that Bone be suspended from parliament for six weeks.
If MPs agree to this recommendation, then it will trigger a recall petititon in his Bone's parliamentary seat which would then result in a by-election to replace him if enough constituents sign it.
Bone on Monday denied that the alleged incidents described by the panel took place.
In a public statement, he said the allegations were "false and untrue" and accused the investigation of being "unfair".
"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.
He said that he was "firmly of the opinion" that the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme investigation was "flawed, procedurally unfair and didn't comply with its own rules and regulations".
"It is my belief that they have operated outside of the powers given to them by Parliament and I am currently discussing with lawyers what action could and should be taken," he continued.
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