Tory minister pictured door-knocking with shamed MP Peter Bone days after veteran politician is suspended from the Commons for flashing young aide
- READ MORE: Flasher Tory Peter Bone is suspended from the Commons
A minister has been photographed campaigning with a shamed Tory MP who was suspended from the Commons after a probe found he engaged in bullying and sexual misconduct.
DWP Minister Tom Pursglove was photographed by The Sunday Mirror canvassing with MP Peter Bone, who denies wrongdoing.
The Commons on Wednesday approved a six-week suspension for Mr Bone after Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel (IEP) upheld counts of bullying and sexual misconduct against him relating to a staff member.
The panel found he indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom of a hotel room during a work trip to Madrid.
A recall petition, due to open next month, will trigger a by-election if signed by 10 per cent of voters in his Wellingborough constituency.
Despite Mr Bone having been stripped of the Tory whip a day after the report was published on October 16, he has continued to campaign for the Tories in Northamptonshire.
A Tory minister has been pictured door-knocking with alleged sex bully MP Peter Bone (pictured)
DWP Minister Tom Pursglove was photographed by The Sunday Mirror canvassing with MP Peter Bone, who denies wrongdoing. Pictured: Mr Pursglove before taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon
The Sunday Mirror reported that Corby MP Mr Pursglove was out door-knocking with Mr Bone only two days after his suspension was ratified by MPs.
Approached by the newspaper for comment, the Tory minister refused to say whether it was appropriate for him to be canvassing with a suspended MP.
Mr Pursglove on Saturday shared a tweet from Helen Harrison, a Conservative councillor on North Northamptonshire Council, showing a group of campaigners, including some from his Corby constituency, out campaigning ahead of a local council by-election.
The picture shows Mr Bone among the activists, holding leaflets with the Tory candidate’s profile on.
Mr Bone reportedly told the Mirror: ‘I’d love to talk to you but we’re out canvassing. Have a nice day.’
The former deputy leader of the Commons is said to have driven away from the canvassing session in the same car as Mr Pursglove.
The Conservative Party said it would not be commenting.
Mr Pursglove has also been approached for comment by the PA news agency.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has conceded that a by-election in the seat, that Mr Bone won with a 18,500 majority in 2019, would be ‘difficult’ for the Tories
A panel found Mr Bone had indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom of a hotel room during a work trip to Madrid
READ MORE: Flasher Tory Peter Bone is suspended from the Commons: Veteran MP gets six-week ban for exposing himself to young aide – meaning Rishi Sunak faces prospect of another by-election
The IEP found Mr Bone had ‘verbally belittled, ridiculed, abused and humiliated’ an employee and ‘repeatedly physically struck and threw things’ at him.
As well as being found to have indecently exposed himself, the MP also imposed an ‘unwanted and humiliating ritual’ on the man by forcing him to sit with his hands in his lap when the politician was unhappy with his work, the investigation found.
Mr Bone has said the allegations against him are ‘false and untrue’ and ‘without foundation’.
The complainant at the centre of the case has told the BBC it was a ‘horrid, brutal, dark experience that left me a broken shell of the young man I once was’.
Labour has urged Mr Bone to stand down immediately and spare his constituencies the recall process.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has conceded that a by-election in the seat, that Mr Bone won with a 18,500 majority in 2019, would be ‘difficult’ for the Tories.
The five-figure majority is smaller than those the Tories had held in both Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire in 2019, seats that were lost in recent by-elections to Labour.
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