Suffolk

Conservative MP Daniel Poulter 'on sick leave'

Dan Poulter Image copyright Conservative Party
Image caption The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP has "vigorously" denied the allegations

A Conservative MP has been absent from parliamentary votes since he was referred to an internal inquiry over allegations of misconduct in the party.

Daniel Poulter also deleted his Twitter account after the Tory disciplinary committee announced it was investigating him over the claims.

The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP has "vigorously" denied the allegations.

His office said he was "unwell and on sick leave".

"While Dr Poulter remains indisposed, all urgent constituency matters will continue to be dealt with in writing to ensure that the needs of his constituents are met," a spokeswoman said.

Dr Poulter has placed "all matters relating to the allegations with his lawyers", and he is "confident" that his party's complaints procedures will "exonerate him of any misconduct or inappropriate behaviour", she added.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dr Poulter has not voted at Parliament since the allegations surfaced

Despite the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Conservative Association saying Dr Poulter is "conducting business as usual in the constituency", he has been absent from local events he was due to attend.

He missed a Christmas lights switch-on in Framlingham and cancelled a lunch to discuss constituency business with his Conservative association.

Mark Newton, chairman of the association, said it was understood all Dr Poulter's absences from parliamentary debates had been agreed by the Whip's Office.

"Everyone is ill from time to time," he said.

Mr Newton "hadn't heard of any constituency problems" due to Dr Poulter's absence and said he was "happy the MP was still dealing with constituency work".

Dr Poulter was one of a number of MPs to be investigated by internal party inquiries under newly constituted procedures.

Other cases have been referred to the Cabinet Office and, in one case so far, to the police.

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