Senior Conservative MP resigns triggering by-election in Newark

Kate McCann
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FORMER front bench Conservative MP Patrick Mercer dramatically resigned his seat last night over claims he was paid to ask questions in the House of Commons.

Mercer’s decision to resign comes after MPs on the cross-party standards committee suspended him from parliament for six months over claims that a fake lobbying firm paid him to ask questions on its behalf. His resignation will trigger a by-election in the Newark seat.

Commenting on speculation last night that Ukip leader Nigel Farage may stand as a candidate, a spokesman for Ukip said: “Nigel is giving the by-election serious consideration but we are focusing on a good result in the European elections first.”

The Conservatives already have a candidate for the seat, Robert Jenrick, meaning London mayor Boris Johnson cannot stand.