Sunak’s Tories May Face Fresh By-Election After MP Suspended

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s governing Conservative Party could face another special election after UK Member of Parliament Peter Bone was suspended from the House of Commons for six weeks for bullying.

Most Read from Bloomberg

MPs voted Wednesday to accept the sanction recommended by Parliament’s ethics panel, which found Bone “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a member of staff about a decade ago. Bone, who denied the allegations, had already been suspended from the parliamentary Tory party and was sitting as an independent lawmaker.

There would be a by-election in Bone’s parliamentary district of Wellingborough in central England if 10% of voters in the constituency sign a so-called recall petition. Bone has held the seat since 2005 and had a majority of 18,540 votes when the seat was last contested at the 2019 general election.

In normal political times, that would be regarded as an easy hold for Sunak’s Tories, albeit that mid-term votes are often tricky for the governing party. But the Conservatives saw Labour overturn larger majorities both in Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth last week.

Read More: Labour’s Double Win Puts Starmer on Path to Oust UK Tories

Keir Starmer’s opposition party would need about an 18% swing from the Tories to take Wellingborough. Labour has already achieved swings of greater than 20% in Mid Bedfordshire, Tamworth and Selby and Ainsty this year.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.