MP David Warburton slams investigation after resigning from Somerton and Frome seat

CONSERVATIVE MP David Warburton has lambasted a probe into allegations of sexual misconduct against him after standing down.

In a dramatic resignation letter, the Somerton and Frome MP has hit out at the investigation and denied ‘malicious’ allegations he had made unwanted advances to two women.

The scandal emerged in April last year after The Sunday Times published details of the allegations, alongside a photograph showing Mr Warburton posing alongside what appeared to be lines of cocaine.

However, he denied the claims, and did not directly address any drug taking in his resignation letter – but did in an interview with the Mail on Sunday after announcing he was standing down.

The 57-year-old said he had taken cocaine after drinking ‘incredibly potent’ Japanese whiskey.

But he added: “I was set up, but I have been naive and incredibly stupid.”

In his letter, he slammed the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) investigation process, claiming delays and limits on what he could say meant he had been unable to present his case in full, meaning the probe had a ‘predetermined outcome’.

A spokesperson for the House of Commons said the institution remained ‘absolutely committed to the ICGS’.

“Parliament’s ICGS operates on the basis of confidentiality for the benefit of all parties,” they added.

“It is vital to the integrity of every case and for the well-being of those involved.

“For that reason, we cannot provide any information on any complaints or cases, including whether or not a complaint has been received.”

READ MORE: Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton resigns: Reports
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But Mr Warburton said he had endured an ‘extremely difficult’ 14 months since the allegations emerged, ‘leaving my constituents with less than the full representation in Parliament that they deserve’.

Several parish and town councils, including Langport and Frome, had passed motions of no confidence in the MP since he had the Tory whip withdrawn.

“I have also been barred – on pain of sanction – from revealing anything of the flawed investigation itself, as it moves at a cripplingly glacial pace towards a predetermined conclusion,” Mr Warburton added in his letter.

“I have been prevented from being granted any consideration that the national media publishing claims against me, while I was silenced by my adherence to the confidentiality agreement, is prejudicial to my case.”

He added: “The past year has inflicted unimaginable and intolerable destruction on my family and on me. Without the tremendous support from my superb parliamentary staff and from colleagues across the House, for which I am enormously grateful, I would quite literally not be here.”

And he ended his letter: “It is critical and urgent that fundamental failings of the system are exposed, examined and rectified if we are to protect genuine victims, both Members and staff.”

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.