After voting in favour of reversing former minister Owen Paterson’s Commons suspension and altering existing standards processes, a Conservative MP alleged his office was vandalised.
Wellingborough MP Peter Bone encouraged MPs to remember Sir David Amess, who was stabbed to death while visiting constituents, claiming that the vandalism had placed his employees in risk.
Tories were told on Wednesday not to support the cross-party Standards Committee’s recommendation that Mr Paterson be suspended from Parliament for 30 days after it was discovered that he lobbied ministers and officials for two firms that paid him more than £100,000 per year.
Dame Andrea Leadsom introduced an amendment to establish a new, Conservative-led committee to reconsider both Mr Paterson’s case and whether a new standards system is needed. Dozens of Conservatives abstained, and 13 rebelled, after being told to vote instead for an amendment introduced by Dame Andrea Leadsom to establish a new, Conservative-led committee to reconsider both Mr Paterson’s case and whether a new standards system is needed.
“I voted for the Leadsom’s amendment as it is called, I listened to the debate and I made up my mind,” Mr Bone said after Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg indicated he would seek “cross-party” improvements to the system in response to popular outcry.
“Would the Leader of the House issue a statement reminding people in the media that all votes in this House are free and I for one, I am never going to be told by someone else how to vote my conscience?”
“This morning my office was vandalised because of the way I voted last night,” he continued, referring to the topic that most bothers him. This puts “my staff in danger, and this is not the way this should happen. We could have strong disagreements but some of us should remember what happened to Sir David Amess and perhaps our language needs to be a little temperate.”