Peter Bone: Office vandalised due to Paterson vote, MP claims

  • Published
Peter BoneImage source, HoC
Image caption,
Peter Bone MP voted in favour of reform of the standards committee and the blocking of the the suspension of Owen Paterson

A Conservative MP has claimed his office was vandalised because he voted for plans to overhaul the policing of MPs' conduct.

Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, said his staff were put in danger by the incident.

The MP backed moves for a shake-up of the standards watchdog and to halt the suspension of a fellow Tory MP.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said the changes would not now go ahead without cross-party support.

Speaking on the BBC News Channel, Mr Bone said the words "Tory sleaze" were painted on the window of his office.

"Trying to intimidate me and particularly intimidate my staff is wrong," he added.

Image source, Peter Bone MP
Image caption,
Mr Bone said the graffiti on his Wellingborough office was because of his vote in Commons on Wednesday
Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The office of Peter Bone MP has washed the graffiti off but some paint can still be seen on the bottom left window frame

On Wednesday, Conservative MPs were ordered not to back the cross-party Standards Committee's call for Owen Paterson to be suspended from Parliament for 30 sitting days after it found he repeatedly lobbied ministers and officials for two companies paying him more than £100,000 per year.

Dozens of Tories abstained and 13 rebelled after being told to vote instead for an amendment, introduced by South Northamptonshire MP Dame Andrea Leadsom, to establish a new, Conservative-led, committee to reconsider both Mr Paterson's case and whether a new standards system was needed.

Media caption,

MPs vote created "a certain amount of controversy", says Jacob Rees-Mogg

But Mr Bone told the Commons that he voted for the amendment adding he had "listened to the debate" and made up his own mind.

He asked Mr Rees-Mogg to "issue a statement reminding people in the media that all votes in this House are free and I for one I am never going to be told by someone else how to vote my conscience".

Mr Bone said: "This morning my office was vandalised because of the way I voted last night. That puts my staff in danger, and this is not the way this should happen.

"We could have strong disagreements but some of us should remember what happened to Sir David Amess and perhaps our language needs to be a little temperate."

Sir David, MP for Southend West, was stabbed to death at a constituency surgery last month.

He added that it was not the first time his office has been vandalised, that he previously has been physically attacked and that his family has received death threats.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he feared "last night's debate conflated the individual case with the general concern, this link needs to be broken".

He said Mr Bone was "well known for his independence of mind and I am sure his constituents are aware of that".

"But to vandalise some member's property or office because of the way that member had voted seems to be to be potentially a breach of privilege and it may be something that needs to be looked into with considerable care," he added.

Northamptonshire Police said it was "aware of an incident of criminal damage" at Mr Bone's office and appealed for witnesses.

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