Patrick Mercer has been banned from Parliament for six months, the Standards Committee has confirmed, following revelations by the Telegraph and BBC Panorama that he agreed to table questions in return for cash. He had already resigned the Conservative whip.

The question now is whether Mercer resigns as an MP, triggering a by-election in Newark which the Tories could try to hold on 22 May? Nigel Farage today said he would consider standing in a by-election this year. In 2010, Mercer won a 16,152 majority, with Ukip coming fourth with 3.81 per cent of the vote.

Tags: Conservatives, Patrick Mercer, UK politics