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Scott Benton: Ex-Tory MP resigns leaving PM to face new by-election

Scott Benton, a former Conservative MP, has resigned amid controversies, prompting a by-election in Blackpool South.
His departure comes ahead of a potential vote to oust him following a lobbying scandal and a resultant Commons ban. Benton's resignation, announced on Facebook, follows a newspaper investigation last April, leading to his suspension from the Tory party.

The upcoming by-election, set against the backdrop of recent Conservative losses and slated for May 2, poses another challenge for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Benton, who won the seat in 2019 with a modest majority, had been sitting as an independent MP since the scandal, which involved him offering to lobby for undercover reporters posing as gambling investors.

His actions were deemed to have significantly harmed Parliament's reputation, leading to a 35-day ban. This could have led to his removal through a recall petition, but his resignation preempts this.

The incident highlights ongoing tensions and challenges for the Conservative Party ahead of national elections.
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