Tory MP Mark Menzies loses whip as investigation launched into claims he misused campaign funds

18 April 2024, 00:45 | Updated: 18 April 2024, 09:59

Mark Menzies
Mark Menzies. Picture: UK government

By Emma Soteriou

MP Mark Menzies has given up the Conservative Party whip after an investigation was launched over claims he misused campaign funds.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Mr Menzies says he "strongly disputes" the allegations made against him but the Tory Party is looking into the claims.

He will now sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons until the investigation is concluded.

The MP for Fylde in Lancashire stands accused of transferring £14,000 of donor funds intended for use on Tory campaign activities to his personal bank accounts and instead used them for private medical expenses.

In 2020, he sought £3,000 to cover medical bills, but did not repay the money - instead asking for a further £4,000, according to the Times.

In a statement, Mr Menzies said: "I strongly dispute the allegations put to me. I have fully complied with all the rules for declarations. As there is an investigation ongoing I will not be commenting further."

The paper said a source close to the MP disputed this account and said the former campaign manager had been the one who suggested Mr Menzies use funds from the business account to pay his personal medical expenses, but she is understood to deny this.

A further £7,000 was received by Mr Menzies from the account in November, it is alleged.

Read more: Starmer accuses Sunak of promising £46bn unfunded tax cut as he taunts PM about Liz Truss’ new book at PMQs

Read more: Israel 'will make own decisions' in response to Iran attack, says Benjamin Netanyahu after meeting with David Cameron

In a statement, Mr Menzies said: "I strongly dispute the allegations put to me. I have fully complied with all the rules for declarations. As there is an investigation ongoing I will not be commenting further."
In a statement, Mr Menzies said: "I strongly dispute the allegations put to me. I have fully complied with all the rules for declarations. As there is an investigation ongoing I will not be commenting further.". Picture: Alamy

A Conservative Party spokesman added: "The Conservative Party is investigating allegations made regarding a Member of Parliament. This process is rightfully confidential.

"The party takes all allegations seriously and will always investigate any matters put to them."

Mr Menzies also faces claims he made a late-night call to a 78-year-old aide asking for help because he had been locked up by "bad people" demanding thousands of pounds for his release.

He is said to have called his former campaign manager at 3.15am one morning in December, claiming he was locked in a flat and needed £5,000 as a matter of "life and death".

The sum then rose to £6,500 and was eventually paid by his office manager from her personal bank account before being reimbursed from funds raised from donors, it is alleged.

A source close to Mr Menzies said he had met a man on an online dating website and went to his flat.

He then allegedly went with another man to a second address where he continued drinking.

Mr Menzies was sick at one point and several people at the address demanded £5,000, claiming it was for cleaning up and other expenses.

The source said Mr Menzies decided to pay them because he was scared of what would happen otherwise, but did not have the funds to transfer the money from his own savings.

In a statement to the paper, Mr Menzies said: "I strongly dispute the allegations put to me. I have fully complied with all the rules for declarations. As there is an investigation ongoing I will not be commenting further."

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "The Conservative Party is investigating allegations made regarding a Member of Parliament. This process is rightfully confidential.

"The party takes all allegations seriously and will always investigate any matters put to them."

A spokesperson for Chief Whip Simon Hart said: “Following a call with the Chief Whip, Mark Menzies has agreed to relinquish the Conservative whip, pending the outcome of an investigation.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

EU tries to secure deal on military aid for Ukraine as Zelensky continues tour

Exclusive
Business owners in Brixham have urged South west water to help re-market the area after the cryptosporidium outbreak.

Brixham businesses urge South West Water to help revive tourism after parasite outbreak causes huge drop in visitors

Horrifying moment thieves take off with high-value watches and hold down dealer during raid on London jewellers

Watch dealer found dead 24 hours after thieves take off with high-value timepieces during raid on London jewellers

Tributes have been paid to women’s football coach Amie Gray. Police have released CCTV of a suspect

Tributes paid to ‘beautiful mother and wife’, Amie Gray 34, killed at beach as hunt for murderer enters fifth day

Storm damage in Pryor, Oklahoma

22 dead as powerful storms leave trail of destruction across several US states

Thousands of users have reported issues with the bank's app and website.

Thousands of NatWest customers unable to access banking app or website amid tech outage

Yellow-jacketed security rent-a-cops turn London's public spaces into hostile occupied zones

I can't be the only one fed up with battalions of yellow-jacketed security guards at every single public event

Papua New Guinea Landslide

Officials fear disease and disaster for Papua New Guinea after landslide

Pope Francis is alleged to have said an offensive slur for gay people during a behind closed-doors meeting.

Pope Francis ‘used homophobic slur’ during closed-door meeting about training gay priests

India Cyclone

Storms flood villages and trigger power cuts to millions in Bangladesh and India

Kensington Palace has reportedly been inundated with get-well-soon cards for the Princess.

Princess Kate has been 'spending more time out and about’ with family as she continues cancer battle

Mexico Mummy Issues

Fury at Mexican government after ancient mummy loses arm in renovation bungle

Rishi Sunak will announce plans to raise the tax-free allowance for pensioners on Tuesday.

Tories pledge £2.4bn tax cut for pensioners with ‘triple lock plus’ allowance

Villagers search through a landslide in Yambali village in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s government says landslide buried 2,000 people

Nicki Minaj has released a new date to perform at the Co-op Live arena in Manchester after the rapper had to cancel her initial gig following her arrest in the Netherlands on Saturday.

Nicki Minaj announces new Co-op Live Manchester show after cancelling first gig following arrest on suspicion of carrying drugs

King Charles to plant first seedling from Sycamore Gap tree months after historic tree was felled in act of vandalism

King Charles to plant first seedling from Sycamore Gap tree months after historic tree was felled in act of vandalism