Minister Conor Burns resigns over ‘intimidation’ row

The MP has been suspended form Parliament for one week

Monday, May 4, 2020

Conservative MP Conor Burns has resigned as a minister after an investigation found he had attempted to intimidate a member of the public.

The Commons standards committee found the Bournemouth West MP had breached ministerial code in a bid to secure a payment to his father.

The report published this morning said that Mr Burns had used his position as an MP to “attempt to intimidate” a member of the public into doing as he wished over the financial dispute.

He allegedly suggested using his parliamentary privilege to raise the case in the Commons if the payment was not made.

The committee said Mr Burns “persisted in making veiled threats” to use parliamentary privilege to “further his family’s interests” during the course of the investigation.

It recommended he should be suspended from Parliament for seven days.

“The committee considers that Mr Burns’ abuse of his privileged status in an attempt to intimidate a member of the public calls for a sanction more severe than apology,” it said.

Downing Street announced this morning that Mr Burns had stepped down from his ministerial position in the Department of International Trade.

A spokesman said a replacement would be found in due course.

Read more

Iain Duncan Smith: Getting UK back to work ‘absolute priority’

Police chief: Cracking down with lockdown fines ‘won’t work’

talkRADIO: Listen live to the latest updates on Covid-19