Date set for Owen Paterson suspension vote

A vote on whether to suspend a county MP from Parliament will take place next week.

Owen Paterson is facing a 30-day suspension from parliament
Owen Paterson is facing a 30-day suspension from parliament

The motion, which recommends the suspension of North Shropshire Conservative MP, Owen Paterson, will go before the House of Commons on Wednesday, November 3.

The timing for the vote – which will decide whether Mr Paterson is suspended for 30 days as recommended by Parliament's standards committee – was confirmed by the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire said she was "relieved" to see the motion had been scheduled for debate, adding: "If any members have not yet read the report, I'd urge them to keep an open mind and read the report before the motion is debated."

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "I'd also encourage members to read the report.

"I think that's always an essential thing to do, it is quite a long report but the weekend is looming and that'd be the opportunity to read it."

The vote comes after the standards committee ruled that Mr Paterson had committed an "egregious" breach of lobbying rules in relation to his paid consultancies with Randox, a clinical diagnostics company, and Lynn's Country Foods.

Mr Paterson has strongly rejected the committee's findings, saying he believes the outcome was pre-judged and that he is prepared to go to court to challenge its conclusions.

There has been speculation that a number of backbenchers will vote against the motion – with several voicing their concerns over the nature of the investigation into Mr Paterson.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs they will consider a motion on the report on November 3, which will decide Mr Paterson's fate.

The committee has rejected criticisms of its investigation, saying it addressed the concerns raised by Mr Paterson.

The North Shropshire MP could face a recall petition if the motion to suspend him is passed.

If a recall petition is then signed by more than 10 per cent of the constituency's electorate it would trigger a by-election for the seat.

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