Conor Burns sacked from Government with ‘immediate effect’ after complaint of ‘serious misconduct’ at Tory conference

7 October 2022, 15:54 | Updated: 8 October 2022, 22:34

Trade Minister Conor Burns has had the Tory whip suspended pending the outcome of an investigation
Trade Minister Conor Burns has had the Tory whip suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Trade minister Conor Burns has been sacked from the government after a complaint of "serious misconduct" at the Tory party conference.

Allegations made about his behaviour are being investigated - but the Bournemouth West MP has accused the Conservative Party of rushing to judgment.

"Earlier I received a call from the chief whip Wendy Morton," he tweeted.

"Ms Morton informed me that a complaint had been received about me and she had passed it to Conservative Campaign Headquarters to investigate.

"I was not given any information about the complaint nor was I asked to provide any information.

"On the basis of this complaint Ms Morton told me that the whip was being withdrawn and that I was standing down as trade minister. I will fully cooperate with the party's (inquiry) and look forward to clearing my name.

"I hope the party will be as quick to conduct their (inquiry) as they were to rush to judgment."

A No.10 spokesperson said earlier: "Following a complaint of serious misconduct, the Prime Minister has asked Conor Burns MP to leave the government with immediate effect.

"The Prime Minister took direct action on being informed of this allegation and is clear that all ministers should maintain the high standards of behaviour – as the public rightly expects."

Read more: Tories wipeout in London as new poll shows every Conservative MP in the capital will lose their seat

A spokesman for the Whips' Office said: "We have suspended the whip pending investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour earlier this week.

"We take all such allegations extremely seriously. The Prime Minister has been clear that the highest standards in public life must be upheld."

Mr Burns, 50, is the subject of allegations around events at the convention in Birmingham earlier this week.

The former Northern Ireland minister had the party whip suspended pending the outcome of an investigation and was dismissed shortly afterwards by the Prime Minister.

He became the Tory MP for Bournemouth West in 2010. Prior to that he was a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Boris Johnson during Mr Johnson's time as foreign secretary, but resigned in July 2018.

This was followed by a stint as trade minister between 2018 and 2020.

Mr Burns became a Northern Ireland minister last year, working alongside Brandon Lewis, before returning as a trade minister in the Cabinet reshuffle last month.