David Warburton resigns as MP

David Warburton has this evening resigned as MP for Somerton & Frome after 14 months of being under investigation. Writing to Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he pours scorn on a Parliamentary investigation which he suggests has served no-one well.

MP resignation letters are usually sent to the Chancellor for historic reasons. Technically an MP can never resign from the House of Commons. The only way to resign as an MP is to be awarded an “office of profit under the Crown.” Having the office bestowed on an MP automatically disqualifies them. And as such offices are in the gift of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that is who MPs should address their resignations.

In his lengthy resignation letter, David Warburton berated the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. He has been the subject of several ICGS investigations since accusations were made against him in The Times newspaper in April last year.

Since then he has had the Conservative Whip withdrawn and has sat at Westminster as an Independent. He has also been unable to access the Parliamentary estate.

The investigation into the complaints against him has been long winded and has left his constituents feeling unrepresented. Mr Warburton points out that his accusers have treated the system with contempt and ignored the requirement of confidentiality. So while their stories had been splashed across the front pages of the press, he had been forced to abide by the rules and remain silent.

In fact only through his resignation has he found himself in a position to expose a system he describes as having “a spectacular level of distain for any search for truth.”

He goes on to point out: “I have been prevented from expressing my bewilderment that witnesses who fabricated evidence and documents, and claimants who – in the judgement of the Commissioner – lied to the ICGS about breaking their own confidentiality rules, have each been embraced as providing reliable testimony to the investigation.”

Mr Warburton intends to devote time to clearing his name and exposing an oversight system for MPs he describes as a perverted process and a system not fit for purpose.

Following his resignation there will be a by-election for his Somerton & Frome constituency. A date should be announced within the next week. It should be noted that it will be the old Somerton & Frome constituency, as neither the Frome constituency nor the Glastonbury & Somerton constituency have yet been formally brought into being.

Somerton & Frome Constituency result 2019:

  • David Warburton (Con) 36,230
  • Adam Boyden (LD)          17,017
  • Sean Dromgoole (Lab)     8,354
  • Dr Andrea Dexter (Gr)    3,295

This will be the third by-election announced in the space of just over a week. And of course a fourth if Nadine Dorries does actually resign . To date despite saying she would, she hasn’t actually done it.


  • This is also billed by the Mail on Sunday today as an “exclusive”.

    Has Mr Warburton made yet another unwise decision? That is, to emulate Boris Johnson and get his retaliation in first, before an official report is published.

    Until we see the final report from The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme then it is hard to come to any serious judgement.

    To err is human, so I hope Mr Warburton and his impacted family find a way to come together and move on.

    Given the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine, out of control inflation with high interest rates (about to clobber mortgages due for renewal) then surely we need less personal dramas from our politicians and more energy addressed to competent government?

  • Not before time!!

  • “There are three classes which need sanctuary more than others – birds, wild flowers and Prime Ministers”!

    Suffice the ‘transitory-constituency’ of Frome & Somerton, the ‘first’ Member of Parliament, the Rt Hon Robert Boscawen MC the ‘epitome’ of ‘integrity’ and ‘honour’ alas a ‘diminished’ individual across ‘public-life’ the witness this octogenarian.

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

    Lest we forget The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP the ‘progenitor’ the Tower Hamlets ‘imbroglio’ of ‘Compassionate Conservatism’!*

    *Robert Edward Jenrick is a British politician serving as Minister of State for Immigration since October 2022. He served as Minister of State for Health from September to October 2022. He served as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government from 2019 to 2021. Wikipedia

  • This resignation is long overdue. By clinging on for the last year and quarter David Warburton has only served himself. Because of his unwillingness to go, his constituents have not been represented in Parliament since he was excluded last April. That his party did nothing to ease his passage in the interim reflects on them as well as him. His blusters about process resonate painfully with those of Mr Johnson a week ago. There will now be an immediate by election and that looks to be an interesting one. The Greens are well represented by Martin Dimery, and the Lib Dems by Sarah Dyke. Whoever the Tories put up to “inherit his mantle” they will be assured a poor reaction on the doorsteps from Frome to Langport. Let battle commence, and let’s see who the wise, but deeply bruised, electorate of Somerton and Frome choose to represent them in Parliament – whoever it is it will be a vast improvement.

  • Who has been selected to stand for the Labour Party this time?

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