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Tory MP suspended following bust of phoney gambling investors lobbying

Benton, the MP for Blackpool South, was filmed conversing with a group of undercover reporters about a possible advising job with a fictitious company.

While Benton did not pursue the fictitious role or break any regulations, video evidence published revealed how Benton stated he could table parliamentary inquiries. The code of conduct for the UK Parliament prevents MPs from lobbying for pay.

It was also stated that Benton said he might leak a copy of the upcoming white paper on gaming reforms up to 48 hours before it was made public, giving the phoney corporation a head start on the competition.

Benton brought the incident to Parliament's standards watchdog, and the Conservative Party pulled the Whip from him last night. (5 April).

“Last month I was approached by a purported company offering me an expert advisory role,” Benton said in a statement sent to the BBC. “I met with two individuals claiming to represent the company to find out what this role entailed.

“After this meeting, I was asked to forward my CV and some other personal details. I did not do so as I was concerned that what was being asked of me was not within Parliamentary rules.

“I contacted the Commons Registrar and the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner who clarified these rules for me and had no further contact with the company. I did this before being made aware that the company did not exist and the individuals claiming to represent it were journalists.”

A spokesperson for Conservative Chief Whip Simon Hart added: “Following his self-referral to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards earlier this evening, Scott Benton has had the Conservative Party Whip suspended whilst an investigation is ongoing.”



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