Disgraced Benton Resigns Blackpool South Seat

    Former Conservative MP Scott Benton has stepped down, prompting a by-election to fill his vacated seat in the Blackpool South constituency. The decision comes amidst local pressure following a Commons ban imposed on him amid a gambling-related lobbying scandal.

     In April of last year, Benton was suspended as a Tory MP following a newspaper sting operation. Local constituents had until April 22nd to vote on his removal from office. However, Benton announced his resignation via Facebook, paving the way for the upcoming by-election. This development adds to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's challenges, as the Conservative Party faces a series of recent by-election defeats. The Conservatives are expected to initiate the process for the by-election on Tuesday, just before Parliament's Easter recess, with the vote likely to take place on May 2nd, coinciding with local and mayoral elections in England and Wales.

    Scott Benton secured the Blackpool South seat in the 2019 election with a narrow 3,690 majority, which had previously been held by Labour since 1997. The Tories face an uphill battle to retain the seat, given recent by-election losses to Labour and the party's trailing position in polls ahead of the upcoming general election. Benton has been serving as an independent MP since losing the Tory whip last April due to revelations from an undercover newspaper investigation. The investigation exposed Benton's willingness to lobby ministers and engage in other questionable activities.


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    27 March 2024

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