Tories Face Another By-Election After Latest Tory MP Is Suspended for Alleged Lobbying

A Tory MP was suspended for 35 days after offering financial benefits to undercover reporters during a meeting in what has been hailed as a lobbying scandal, meaning Rishi Sunak faces yet another by-election, and most likely a defeat.

A Controversial Suspension

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A potential by-election is on the cards for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after yet another Tory MP was suspended for the last 35 days due to a controversial lobbying sting, 

Rishi Sunak’s Election Challenge

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This development poses a huge risk for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he tries to gain the confidence of the public before announcing general elections later this year,

Party Affiliation Shift

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Scott Benton, initially a Conservative, is now an independent due to the lobbying sting where he allegedly attempted to offer lobby ministers documents on behalf of the gambling industry to make money.

Recall Petition Triggered

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Given the suspension surpasses the 10-day threshold, a recall petition is set to be initiated in Blackpool South, which has the potential to result in a by-election.

Offering Undercover Reporters Money

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Reporters from The Times went undercover in a meeting with Benson in 2023, where he suggested he could offer lobby ministers £4,000 a month on behalf of the gambling industry.

Benton Finds Investigation “Disappointing”

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Benton allegedly attempted to act as a conduit between the gambling partners and lobbying ministers, who were also reporters, but he has described the investigation as “deeply disappointing.”

Unethical Actions Raise Questions

The fake gambling firm offered to pay Scott Benton £48,000 a month to sit on its board of directors, working just two days a week, in return for Benton leaking information early.

Benton’s Counter-Argument

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Benton argued that the entire process of the investigation had “a lack of integrity” and was apparently “prone to leaks at every stage” as it was announced he would be suspended for 35 days.

Majority in Jeopardy

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Having won with a majority of 3,690 in 2019, Benton’s suspension jeopardizes the Conservatives’ hold on Blackpool South.

A Lapse In Judgement

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“Representing my constituents is a profound honour in my life and it is a responsibility I hold in the highest regard,” claimed Benton, before arguing that the “meeting was a lapse in judgement.”

Benton Looking to Make Amends

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Admitting that he “deeply regrets” his comments during the meeting, Benton wants another shot at representing his constituency and wants to “make amends.”

Benton Hopes to Continue His Role

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“My sincere hope is that I will be granted the opportunity to make amends for it throughout the remainder of my time in Parliament and I can continue representing my constituents effectively,” Benton argued in a statement.

Committee Report’s Statement

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The committee report was less than impressed with Benton’s unethical actions, suggesting that “Mr Benton committed a very serious breach of Paragraph 11 of the Rules,” and should be punished accordingly.”

Labour’s Response

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The Labour Party took the opportunity to slam the Conservatives and Rishi Sunak for the repeated failures of its MPs and continuous suspensions, with some arguing that the Party has lost control of its members.

Labour Calls For Resignation

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Labour MP Anneliese Dodds said that Benton should resign now to “save his constituents the upheaval and cost of a recall petition,” arguing that the people of the constituency deserve a “fresh start.”

Recall Criteria

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If more than 10% of the public in the constituency votes for a recall, then a by-election is triggered and Benton is more than likely to lose the Conservatives seat in Blackpool South.

A Tough Year So Far

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This year alone, the Conservatives have already lost seats in Wellingborough and Kingswood due to a suspension and resignation triggering the two by-elections, which were won by Labour in landslide victories.

Rishi Sunak Slammed as “Weak”

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Dodds took the opportunity to slam Rishi Sunak for Benton’s actions, “This is indicative of a weak Conservative prime minister who promised professionalism, integrity and accountability and has delivered nothing but sleaze, scandal and chaos,” she argued.

Another Tory MP Suspended

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With former Tory MP Lee Anderson also suspended for his comments about “Islamists” controlling London, Labour argued that Sunak has lost control of his party.

Labour Rubbing Their Hands

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As the general election dates are expected to be announced in the coming months, it seems like Labour is ready to pounce on a landslide victory that we haven’t seen for decades.

The post Tories Face Another By-Election After Latest Tory MP Is Suspended for Alleged Lobbying first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

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