Coffee House

Patrick Mercer quits as MP and triggers awkward by-election in Newark

29 April 2014

6:53 PM

29 April 2014

6:53 PM

Patrick Mercer has quit as an MP. The Sun has the story, with the former Conservative saying:

‘It is clear to me that the constituency of Newark needs to be represented properly. I will not argue will the findings of the committee and I can only humbly apologise.

“My military background has taught me that you must never let down the people who depend on you, and those people are my constituents of Newark. If that becomes the case, you must go without any argument.’

Now the question is when the Newark by-election will take place. It is a nightmare for the Conservative party, which would perhaps have rather he’d stuck around festering on the benches as an independent than trigger a by-election that involves a battle with Ukip.

The nightmare gets a little bit worse given Commons rules were recently changed so that the period of time between a writ being moved in a by-election and the by-election taking place must be at least 21 working days. This means that it cannot take place on 22 May as the party might have hoped. Nigel Farage had already ruled out standing if the vote was on 22 May – but now his chance remains open.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Agrippina

    It is right that UKIP stand and fights this by-election and once and for all we can show that we are a serious party & not at all racist or tainted with the stench of troughing MPs who fiddle their expenses.

    We stand for all and are only wish is to represent Brits that is to say unlike Roche who claims to have represented labour constiuents, but in reality marginalised them by their own immigration policy circa 2004. We will put all Brits, esp the forgotten working class 1st.

  • you_kid

    Cash for…
    MPs are poorly paid, proven once again.

  • telemachus

    Farage not Boris
    The first Powellite in the Commons in a generation

    • Darnell Jackson

      Why don’t you stand teletubby and invite the grateful constituents to join you in worship of blinky and wallace?

      Who knows how that may turn out?