LONDON — A Conservative MP is facing a ban from the House of Commons over allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct against a staff member.
Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel (IEP) on Monday recommended that Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough since 2005, be handed a six-week suspension from the Commons after dismissing his appeal against multiple claims in an earlier investigation that he “verbally belittled, ridiculed, abused and humiliated” a member of his staff between 2012 and 2013.
It also upheld a finding from parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), which investigated the original allegations, that Bone committed sexual misconduct by exposing himself “to the complainant on an overseas trip.”
The Conservative Brexiteer has denied the allegations, and called the investigation “flawed” and “procedurally unfair.”
The IEP’s findings will now go to the committee on standards, made up of fellow MPs, who will determine whether a Commons vote on suspending Bone takes place.
Should he be suspended for six weeks, Bone will also face a recall petition — meaning that voters in his constituency could force a by-election to remove him.
Bone issued a statement Monday, saying the “false and untrue claims” were “without foundation.”
“The allegations by an ex-employee refer to events of more than 10 years ago that spanned no more than a few months,” he said. “The complainant first made the allegations years after they left my employment. They did not raise them at any time during their employment, either in writing or verbally with me, nor with their line managers.”