The UK MP for Blackpool South, Scott Benton has been suspended and stripped as whip of the Conservative Party.
This was instigated following a still pending investigation that yielded footage of the Tory MP offering to lobby within parliament on behalf of gambling investors in return for monetary compensation.
The footage was leaked by The Times and captured Benton confirming he was prepared to leak market sensitive information to a fake investment fund as well as pose parliamentary questions on behalf of the investors.
This is in clear violation of Parliamentary rules, which forbid MPs from advocating for any particular matter in the House or raising the subject with ministers against any form of payment or compensation.
This also prohibits MPs from acting as paid advisors or consulting. They may not guide any entities as to how they may manipulate or influence Parliament and its proceedings.
The footage was taken from a meeting that occurred in early March, in which the MP promised a reporter who he believed was a gambling investor, to support his fund by attempting to water down imminent gambling reforms.
Along with this he also guaranteed a copy of the eagerly anticipated upcoming gambling White Paper, from which the new legislative measure would be devised. Almost certainly promising market sensitive information that provides an unfair economic and competitive advantage.
The evidence becomes even more damning when Mr. Benton also offers to table written questions to parliament having already done so for another enterprise.
Along with offering “the direct ear of an MP who is actually going to make these decisions” stating he would communicate with them in person outside the voting lobby.
In return Benton agreed a fee of compensation ranging from £2,000 to £4,000 a month for two days’ work.
The parliamentary commissioner for standards has confirmed that Mr. Benton is under investigation for:
“Actions causing significant damage to the reputation of the House as a whole, or of its Members generally”
This now makes two investigations by the standards commission involving Benton who has also been accused of misusing his Parliamentary email address.
The Blackpool South MP is still yet to comment on this new investigation.
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