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Since then he has had the Conservative Whip withdrawn and has sat at Westminster as an Independent.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.