A Conservative MP accused of sexual harassment and drug use has resigned, prompting a by-election.
David Warburton resigned from his Somerton and Frome seat after what he said was an “extremely difficult” 14 month battle against “malicious allegations”.
The 57-year-old said he was denied a fair hearing by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) and was barred from speaking while the allegations were being considered.
His resignation means Rishi Sunak faces another potentially damaging by-election.
In his resignation statement, Mr Warburton said he had “no choice” but to provoke “the uproar of a by-election”.
He said, “I hope in this way I can freely shed light on the methods of an oversight system that doesn’t serve its purpose, so that friends and colleagues in the House of Representatives can see the perverted process by which their own judgment is even possible at the time.” be shipped.’
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Mr Warburton admitted to using cocaine after drinking an “incredibly strong” Japanese whiskey, but denies claims he molested a political adviser at his Westminster home.
The resignation will spark an electoral campaign in his Somerset constituency, which he has represented as an independent since the Tory party was suspended last April.
Mr Warburton took the Liberal Democrat seat in 2015 and commanded a majority of 19,213, but the party is already stepping up maneuvers to win it back.
Daisy Cooper, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “The Conservatives have repeatedly mired themselves in slander and scandal, neglecting the issues that people really care about.”
“Then they decided it was okay to leave the locals in that seat without there being any proper representation at all.
“This by-election will be a clear contest between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, Labor finished third last time out and are completely out of the running.”
“The people of Somerton and Frome need a local advocate and they can get that at the next election by voting for our local Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Dyke.”
Meanwhile, Labour’s Shabana Mahmood accused the Prime Minister of being “too weak to act on his own”.
“Once again we see a disgraced Tory MP resign after Rishi Sunak was too weak to act himself.” “Enough is enough,” she said.
“Britain cannot afford this weak Conservative Prime Minister whose party is too divided to govern as families struggle with the cost of living.”
“It’s time to review 13 years of Tory chaos.” “We need a general election now and a Labor government led by Keir Starmer.”
The Prime Minister now faces four possible by-elections, with two campaigns in Uxbridge and South Ruislip and Selby and Ainsty already set for July 20 after Boris Johnson and his ally Nigel Adams resigned.
Nadine Dorries, who has also announced her resignation over the consequences of the former Prime Minister’s resignation honors, remains on as she plans to investigate why she was denied a seat on the list.
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