Tory Suspension in Blackpool Could See Another Landslide By-Election Defeat

A recent decision to suspend the Tory MP for Blackpool South could result in another by-election, in what’s been described as a “Tory scandal” uncovered by undercover investigators.

Turmoil for Rishi Sunak Continues

After two recent by-election landslide defeats, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could experience a third after one of his Tory MPs is suspended.Blackpool South MP Scott Benton has officially lost his appeal against his suspension after he breached conditions related to gambling.

Undercover journalists exposed Benton for offering to use his influence to lobby ministers on behalf of gambling investors, marking a severe breach of Parliamentary rules.

After the ruling of his suspension, Benton claimed that the investigation was “prone to regular leaks at every stage,” and he was “deeply disappointed.”

Watchdog’s Verdict

A watchdog group labeled Benton’s actions “extremely serious” in December and urged the MP to be suspended for 35 days.

Should over 10% of constituents demand a by-election, the fate of Scott Benton will lie in the hands of the public, with Labour looking to record a third landslide victory this year.

Labour already won two by-elections in both Wellingborough and Kingswood earlier in February after Tory MPs resigned or were suspended.

Wellingborough Recall Petition Triggered

MP Peter Bone, who had been a Wellingborough MP from 2005 until last year, was forced out due to allegations of bullying and harassment, triggering a recall petition.

Gen Kitchen, the Labour MP who won the by-election, said, “The people of Wellingborough have spoken for Britain. This is a stunning victory for the Labour Party and must send a message from Northamptonshire to Downing Street.”

Labour secured a record 28% of votes in the area after the by-election was called, the biggest Tory by-election defeat since the Second World War.

Kingswood Swing Second-Largest Recorded

In Kingswood, Labour’s Damien Egan won the vote with a 2,051 majority over the Tory candidate, the second-largest swing from the Conservatives in by-election history.

Benton won his marginal seat in Blackpool South in 2019, with a 3,690 vote majority over Labour, but is now at risk of triggering a by-election, adding to Sunak’s woes.

Toxic Message on Parliamentary Standards

The Standards Committee’s report from last year condemned Benton for conveying a “toxic message” about parliamentary standards, tarnishing the reputation of all MPs.

Benton was accused of giving an “incomplete and incorrect picture” of the undercover meeting where he offered to provide confidential government documents on gambling policies before they had been published.

The committee accused Benton of actions that “undermine the foundations of our democracy,” claiming that the Tory MP was “Corrupt and ‘for sale.’”

Labour’s Call for Decency

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth urged Benton to resign to save the public’s time, “Scott Benton should do the decent thing and resign, saving the people of Blackpool South a lengthy recall petition,” he said.

Ashworth contended that Benton’s actions contributed to the “Tory scandal” and that “Britain deserves better than this carousel of Conservative chaos.”

“Blackpool Born and Bred”

Ashworth claimed that there was no one better suited for the job than Labour’s Chris Webb, who, according to Ashworth, is “Blackpool born and bred, and ready to deliver a fresh start for Blackpool South.”

A by-election in Blackpool South would be the 22nd Tory by-election triggered since their reelection in 2019, as the public’s lack of confidence in the party continues to grow ahead of the general election later this year.

The post Tory Suspension in Blackpool Could See Another Landslide By-Election Defeat first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

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