MPs are expected to vote on Wednesday to suspend former minister Peter Bone after he was found to have bullied and sexually harassed a member of staff.
Parliament's Independent Expert Group (IEP) said the Wellingborough MP “committed several different acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a member of his staff in 2012 and 2013.
The recommended six-week suspension, if approved by MPs, could see Mr Bone face a recall petition that would pave the way for another possible by-election.
Mr Bown, who has been stripped of his Tory whip, said the allegations were “false and untrue” and “without foundation” and vowed to continue to represent his constituents.
Any by-election would see Rishi Sunak's Conservatives fighting to retain the Wellingborough seat held by Mr Bone since 2005.
Five allegations about Mr Bone were made by a Westminster staffer in October 2021, with a complaint made to then prime minister Theresa May in 2017, according to the IEP report.
The complaints included four allegations of bullying, saying Mr Bone:
– “He verbally belittled, ridiculed, abused and humiliated” his employee.
– “Repeatedly physically hit and threw things” at him, including hitting him with his hand or with an object such as a pencil or a rolled-up document.
– He imposed an “unwelcome and humiliating ritual” on him by making him sit with his hands in his lap when the MP was unhappy with his work. and
– The complainant was ostracized after an incident on a business trip to Madrid.
The complainant also alleged that Mr Bone “repeatedly pressured” the member of staff to massage him in the office and, on a visit to Madrid with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom. and the bedroom of the hotel room they shared.
In his response to the IEP findings, Mr. Bone said, “As I have maintained throughout this process, none of the allegations of misconduct against me were ever made.
“These are false and untrue allegations. It is without foundation.”
He said the complainant had not raised the issues during his employment and said ICGS rules meant he could not “detail my views on the huge inconsistencies and lack of evidence in the allegations”.
Mr Bone said he was “discussing with lawyers what steps could and should be taken”.