Suspended Tory MP Scott Benton resigns leaving Rishi Sunak facing another by-election

25 March 2024, 14:54 | Updated: 25 March 2024, 15:32

Scott Benton, the MP for Blackpool South, has resigned
Scott Benton, the MP for Blackpool South, has resigned. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Rishi Sunak is facing another by-election after Scott Benton resigned as an MP.

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Mr Benton, the MP for Blackpool South, was already facing a recall petition and potentially a by-election after MPs approved a motion to suspend him from the Commons for 35 days.

In December, the Commons sleaze watchdog found that he had committed an "extremely serious" breach of Parliamentary rules and recommended that he face a 35 day suspension.

He was caught by an undercover newspaper sting offering to lobby ministers on behalf of gambling investors.

In a resignation statement he said: "It's with a heavy heart that I have written to the Chancellor this morning to tender my resignation as your MP.

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"I'd like to thank the hundreds of residents who have sent supportive messages, cards and letters over the last few months and who have urged me to continue and fight the next election.

"The support that so many local people have given to me has made it all worthwhile. A Labour government would be catastrophic for our country.

"I'm mindful of giving a new candidate the time and space to campaign to prevent that from happening and it is for this reason that I have made this decision at this time."

In his statement he announced he had officially tendered his resignation as an MP, meaning a by-election will be held to replace him.

Mr Benton has been made the Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, the Treasury has announced, formally confirming his resignation from the Commons.

The appointment is one of two posts used as part of the archaic process by which MPs give up their seats.