‘I hope the party will be as quick to conduct their enquiry as they were to rush to judgement,’ sacked minister said

Tory minister criticises party’s ‘rush to judgement’ after sacking over ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Conor Burns (Liam McBurney/PA) (PA Wire)

A Tory minister sacked after allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” at the Conservative conference has criticised his party’s “rush to judgement.”

Conor Burns, a trade minister, first had the whip removed by the party – and, within minutes, No 10 announced he had been told to “leave the government with immediate effect”.

The MP, 50, was a close ally of Boris Johnson during his time in Downing Street and his been the MP for Bournemouth West since 2010.

Mr Burns confirmed his suspension, in a series of tweets that criticised a “rush to judgement” and demanded that the party’s inquiry be concluded with similar speed.

“Earlier I received a call from the Chief Whip Wendy Morton. Ms Morton informed me that a complaint had been received about me and she had passed it to Conservative Campaign Headquarters to investigate,” he wrote.

“I was not given any information about the complaint nor was I asked to provide any information.

He continued: “On the basis of this complaint Ms Morton told me that the Whip was being withdrawn and that I was standing down as Trade Minister. I will fully cooperate with the Party’s enquiry and look forward to clearing my name.

“I hope the party will be as quick to conduct their enquiry as they were to rush to judgement.”

His sacking follows a series of sleaze allegations against senior Conservatives, including of groping by the deputy chief whip Chris Pincher – the scandal that forced Mr Johnson out of No 10.

Neil Parish resigned from the Commons after revealed he had watched porn in the chamber – and another, unnamed Tory MP is currently on bail over allegations of rape.

There are ongoing inquiries into David Warburton, the Conservative MP suspended over allegations of sexual harassment and cocaine use.

The Independent revealed how Liz Truss accepted help during her leadership campaign from a former government minister accused of sexual harassment, according to No 10 sources.

The prime minister not only knew about the allegations – denied by the politician – but suggested that he might make a return to serve in her government, officials said.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, seized on Mr Burns’ sacking as evidence that the new government “is already beset by scandal”, pointing to Ms Truss’s refusal to appoint an ethics adviser.

Tory minister criticises party’s ‘rush to judgement’ after sacking over ‘inappropriate behaviour’

The ex minister said he will full cooperate with the investigation

(PA Wire)

“This deeply disturbing revelation is the latest in a long line of serious misconduct allegations, and raises serious questions – not only about yet another minister – but about the prime minister’s judgement in refusing to appoint an independent ethics adviser,” she said.

“For those who hoped Liz Truss would turn the page on years of Tory sleaze, we’re already seeing more of the same.”

Mr Burns made headlines at the conference in Birmingham when he mocked the prime minister over her record on post-Brexit trade deals and anointed a rival as “the future of our party”.

At a fringe meeting, he suggested Ms Truss’s time as trade secretary – when she became notorious for her social media output – was a tale of style over substance.

He praised Kemi Badenoch, the new trade secretary, saying: “Kemi totally gets that trade needs to move beyond Instagram posts about free trade agreements and needs to actually focus on delivering.”

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