Recall petition opens against suspended MP Peter Bone

A recall petition that could trigger a by-election has opened against suspended MP Peter Bone.

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

He was sitting as an independent after losing the Conservative whip.

The recall petition, which was prompted by his suspension, will be open until December 19.

If signed by 10% of voters in his Northamptonshire constituency, Mr Bone will lose the seat and a by-election will be called.

Mr Bone has held the seat for the Conservatives since 2005 and retained it at the last general election with a majority of 18,540.

(PA Graphics)

That is smaller than the majorities the Tories had held in both Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire in 2019, and they both fell to Labour in by-elections in October.

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.