Tory candidate claimed £1000 of Brexit cash to her own physiotherapy firm

13 February 2024, 11:40

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, UK. 19th February, 2016. Grassroots Out (GO) hold a rally at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, W
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, UK. 19th February, 2016. Grassroots Out (GO) hold a rally at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, W. Picture: Alamy
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

The Tory candidate in Wellingborough claimed at least £1000 of Brexit cash to her own physiotherapy firm.

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Helen Harrison was a director of Grassroots Out, a campaign group funded by former MP and prominent Brexit-backer, Peter Bone, in 2016, to campaign to leave the EU.

The wannabe Wellingborough MP is fighting the by-election for the Tories to replace her partner, Mr Bone.

The by-election clash was sparked after a damning report found he had exposed himself to and bullied his staff.

According to Electoral Commission registrations, two invoices from Grassroots Out were paid to Helen Harrison's physiotherapy firm, 'Harringworth Physiotherapy', totalling £500 each.

It claims the cash was for "overheads and general administration" and the other for "administrative services".

The Conservative Party and Ms Harris declined to comment.

Peter Bone MP. British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament,with girlfriend  Helen Harrison in Westminster, London
Helen Harrison with her partner, the former MP Peter Bone. Picture: Alamy

Grassroots Out was founded in December 2015 by Mr Bone and fellow MP Tom Pursglove, with backing from then UKIP leader Nigel Farage and, later, Labour MP Kate Hoey.

It battled to become the formal designated Leave campaign, but lost out to Leave.EU.

As a result the group, which was also funded by Aaron Banks, could only spend £700,000 over the course of the campaign.

The group received more than £2.6million in donations during the campaign - but only registered £232,000 of this has been spent.

Last year the by-election in Wellingborough was sparked after the Commons report upheld several allegations made against him - including throwing things, hitting a staff member, and several allegations of bullying.

Mr Bone denies all the allegations, but he was suspended from the Commons for six weeks.

His constituents chose to boot him out of his seat, where he had an 18,000 majority.

Local Tories picked Harrison to stand to replace him.

But when LBC quizzed Rishi Sunak on why Mr Bone's partner had been picked, he pointedly declined to publicly endorse her.

The PM told us at a PM Connect event at Accrington Stanley Football Club: "Candidate selection is done locally, so local members in their area can choose a given candidate. That's how it works in our party.

"We believe in empowering people locally - that's how we did it."

He refused to comment on Mr Bone or Ms Harrison, or if he was "proud" she would be a candidate.

The poll takes place on Thursday.

The full list of candidates are as follows....

  • Nick ‘The Flying Brick’ Delves – Monster Raving Loony Party
  • Ben Habib – Reform UK
  • Helen Harrison – Conservative Party
  • Gen Kitchen – Labour Party
  • Ankit Love Jknpp Jay Mala Post-Mortem – Independent
  • Alex Merola – Britain First
  • Will Morris – Green Party
  • Andre Pyne-Bailey – Independent
  • Ana Savage Gunn – Liberal Democrats
  • Marion Turner-Hawes – Independent
  • Kevin Watts – Independent
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, UK.
Voters go to the polls in two by-elections this week. Picture: Alamy

Shocking moment Rishi Sunak refuses to endorse Tory candidate girlfriend of shamed ex MP Peter Bone