A Tory MP representing a constituency near Bristol has had the whip withdrawn following a series of allegations about his conduct. The allegations came to light in a report from a national newspaper.
David Warburton, who represents the Somerton and Frome constituency in Somerset is now facing an internal party investigation into his conduct. Warburton has a 19,213 majority in the seat he took from the Lib Dems in 2015.
This evening (April 2), a party spokeswoman confirmed the Tory whip had been withdrawn from Warburton following a series of allegations being made to the new parliamentary harassment watchdog. The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme – a service that looks into misconduct by people in Parliament – has received a report which is currently under examination.
When approached by The Telegraph earlier today, Warburton insisted he would launch a robust defence and denied any wrongdoing. He said: “I have enormous amounts of defence, but unfortunately the way that things work means that doesn’t come out first. I have heard nothing whatsoever from the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. I’m sorry, I can’t comment any further.”
A spokesperson for the Whips Office said: “David Warburton MP has had the Conservative Party whip removed while the investigation is ongoing.”
Previously Treasurer, political deputy chairman and constituency spokesperson for Wells Conservative Association, Warburton selected as Somerton and Frome candidate in 2014. At the 2015 general election, he was elected with 53% of the vote and, at 18.3%, the largest constituency swing to the Conservative Party after David Heath, who held the seat for the Liberal Democrats since 1997, stepped down.