BOURNEMOUTH West MP Conor Burns has been sacked as trade minister and had the whip suspended from the Conservative party following a complaint of serious misconduct.
Mr Burns was asked to leave the government with “immediate effect” following the complaint, No 10 said.
It is understood the allegation centres around the Tory party conference this week.
The Tory MP has told the Echo he will “fully cooperate” with an ensuing investigation that he “looks forward to clearing [his] name.”
Mr Burns said: “I was contacted by the Chief Whip this afternoon to say that a complaint had been made and would be investigated by the party.
“Before the complaint had been considered she informed me it had been decided to remove the whip and ask me to stand down as a minister.
“I will fully cooperate with the investigation and look forward to clearing my name.”
1/3 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. I was not given any information about the complaint nor was I asked to
— Conor Burns (@ConorBurnsUK) October 7, 2022
A Whips’ Office spokesperson said: “We have suspended the whip pending investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour earlier this week.
“We take all such allegations extremely seriously. The Prime Minister has been clear that the highest standards in public life must be upheld.”
A No 10 spokesperson said: “Following a complaint of serious misconduct, the Prime Minister has asked Conor Burns MP to leave the Government with immediate effect.
“The Prime Minister took direct action on being informed of this allegation and is clear that all ministers should maintain the high standards of behaviour – as the public rightly expects.”
The Conservatives’ annual conference took place in Birmingham from last Sunday to this Wednesday (October 5).
Mr Burns has been MP for Bournemouth West since May 2010 and has held several other roles in government.
He served as principal private secretary to friend and ally Boris Johnson during his spell as Foreign Secretary, until resigning in 2018.
Following Johnson’s appointment as Prime Minister in 2019, Mr Burns served as Minister of State for Trade Policy. However he resigned in 2020 after a Standards Committee inquiry found he had made “veiled threats” to use privilege to “further his family’s interests” during a financial dispute involving his father.
Then followed a stint as Minister of State for Northern Ireland, a role he held for just under one year.
Upon Liz Truss’ recent appointment as Prime Minister, Mr Burns was again appointed as Trade minister.
It comes less than two months after fellow Bournemouth MP Tobias Ellwood also lost the Tory whip, following his failure to vote in the July Johnson ministry confidence vote.
We have contacted Bournemouth West Conservative Association to comment.