MP loses Tory whip as claims he misused campaign funds are investigated


An MP has lost the Conservative Party whip while newspaper claims about alleged misuse of campaign funds are investigated.

Mark Menzies, the MP for Fylde, disputes the allegations reported by The Times but the Conservative Party is looking into the claims.

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.”

Losing the whip means Mr Menzies is no longer a member of the Conservative parliamentary party and will sit as an independent MP, rather than a Tory MP, in the House of Commons chamber.

In a statement to The Times, 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.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said earlier on Wednesday that it was “frankly appalling” that the Conservative Party had allegedly been aware of the allegations for more than three months.

“Rishi Sunak must suspend the whip for Mark Menzies immediately, while all the relevant authorities investigate the matter,” she said.

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Mr Menzies has served as the MP for Fylde in Lancashire since May 2010.

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Last week William Wragg the MP for Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester, also gave up the whip after he admitted to The Times that he had given his colleagues’ phone numbers to someone he met on a dating app.

Scotland Yard said it is investigating reports of the so-called “honeytrap” scam after it was suggested at least 12 men in political circles received unsolicited messages, raising security concerns.

Mr Wragg also resigned as vice-chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers and stepped down from his role heading the Commons’ public administration and constitutional affairs committee.

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