MP Peter Bone could be facing a six-week suspension from the House of Commons, after a panel ruled that allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct were true. The Conservative MP has staunchly denied the allegations and ruling.
A report by parliament’s Independent Expert Panel (IEP) found that Peter Bone exposed himself to a member of staff in a “deliberate and conscious abuse of power”.
Mr Bone, the Conservative MP for Wellingborough, “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a member of his staff in 2012 and 2013, the panel said.
It recommended that he be suspended from the House of Commons for six weeks – this potentially leading to another potential by-election and added pressure on Rishi Sunak.
In a statement, Bone, 70, dismissed the IEP report as false and untrue.
“As I have maintained throughout these proceedings, none of the misconduct allegations against me ever took place,” he said.
“They are false and untrue claims. They are without foundation.”
The complaints included four allegations of bullying, detailing that Mr Bone “verbally belittled, ridiculed, abused and humiliated” his employee and “repeatedly physically struck and threw things” at him.
The report said Mr Bone also imposed an “unwanted and humiliating ritual” on him by forcing him to sit with his hands in his lap when he was unhappy with his work and that he ostracised his staff member following an incident on a work trip to Madrid.
The complainant also alleged that Mr Bone had “repeatedly pressurised” the member of staff to give him a massage in the office and, on a visit to Madrid with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom and bedroom of the hotel room they were sharing.
Writing on social media, Mr Bone, who was appointed deputy leader of the House of Commons by Boris Johnson, said the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) investigation into him “was flawed, procedurally unfair and didn’t comply with its own rules and regulations”.
In its findings, the IEP said: “This is a serious case of misconduct. The bullying involved violence, shouting and swearing, mocking, belittling and humiliating behaviour, and ostracism.
“This wilful pattern of bullying also included an unwanted incident of sexual misconduct, when the complainant was trapped in a room with the respondent in a hotel in Madrid. This was a deliberate and conscious abuse of power using a sexual mechanism: indecent exposure.”
Following an investigation, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner upheld all four allegations of bullying and the allegation of sexual misconduct relating to the incident in Spain.
The Conservative Party have not yet issued a statement on the matter.