MPs agree to suspend Tory Andrew Bridgen from the Commons for five days

MPs have agreed to suspend a Tory MP after he was found to have displayed a “very cavalier” attitude to the rules in a series of lobbying breaches.

North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen will be suspended from the Commons for five sitting days from Tuesday.

The backbencher should have told ministers and officials about his relationship with Cheshire-based firm Mere Plantations as he made multiple representations.

Mr Bridgen also called into question the integrity of standards commissioner Kathryn Stone on the basis of “wholly unsubstantiated and false allegations”, the standards committee found.

Kathryn Stone
Kathryn Stone (House of Commons/PA)

He appealed against the recommendation to suspend him, but Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel dismissed it “on all grounds”.

The suspension was agreed in the Commons unopposed, but Mr Bridgen was not able to attend.

Sir Chris Bryant, Labour chairman of the Standards Committee, called on Mr Bridgen to make an apology in the chamber, telling MPs: “The committee also, as is referred to in the motion, required the member to make an apology to the House.

“I understand of course that he has not been able to be here today, but I hope that that will be able to happen as soon as possible after he comes back.”

Deputy speaker Nigel Evans said: “That is on the record. I assume that that is exactly what will happen.”