David Warburton, a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) representing Somerton and Frome in Somerset, has resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct and drug use.
This makes him the fourth Conservative MP to announce their resignation in the span of eight days. Warburton described the past 14 months as extraordinarily difficult since the allegations were made public. He claimed that the allegations against him were malicious.
The MP had been accused of taking drugs and making unwelcome advances towards two women. Leading to his suspension from the Conservative Party in April of the previous year.
In an interview with the Mail On Sunday, Warburton admitted to taking cocaine after consuming highly potent Japanese whisky. But denied the harassment claims made against him. His immediate resignation necessitates a by-election in his constituency. He has been representing it as an independent since losing the Tory whip.
The issuance of a writ for a new election typically occurs within three months of resignation, according to Parliament’s website. Warburton, who had previously won the seat from the Liberal Democrats in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017 and 2019.He expressed his gratitude for the support from his constituents but lamented that they have been deprived of their voice for a year.
He also criticized the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) for denying him a fair hearing and preventing him from speaking out during the investigation.
Boris Johnson, Nigel Adams, and Nadine Dorries have also recently resigned. Triggering by-elections in their respective constituencies. However, Dorries stated that her departure would not be immediate. As she intends to remain in office while she investigates her exclusion from Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.