Liz Truss fires Conor Burns for infringement claims in new Tory bastard line

A commerce minister has been sacked by Liz Truss on charges of sexual misconduct in a late-night bar at a Conservative Party conference. Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, also revoked Tory's caning as the Conservatives began investigating claims of inappropriate behavior. Burns has vowed to clear his name, expressing surprise that he had been dismissed without being given details of the claim and criticizing the "rush to judge".

Liz Truss acted on the charges within hours of them appearing, in stark contrast to her predecessor Boris Johnson - who was accused of acting slowly on a misdemeanor claim against Chris Pincher, the former deputy head of the whip. The charge of groping drunkenness against Mr Pincher played a central role in the uprising ministers that led to Mr Johnson's resignation.

Mr Pincher denies any wrongdoing. He initially kept Tory's whip, prompting criticism from some colleagues. Ministers who later quit work cited the handling of the case as a factor in their decision.

But recent developments are still putting pressure on the new Prime Minister, who vowed to turn a page on prime minister Johnson during his leadership campaign after a series of vile Tory episodes.

Ms Truss is facing a difficult first month in office, with new polls showing she is receiving no resurgence after a week of Tory conferences dominated by party infighting. The Telegraph understands the incident that sparked the complaint took place on Tuesday night at the bar at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham, which partially hosts the Tory conference.

The complaint alleges that Burns made inappropriate statements and actions against a younger man, according to sources close to the investigation. Mr Burns denies any wrongdoing.

The Hyatt is part of the Conservative Party's "safe zone" conference, which means it is frequented by delegates as they make their way between fringe events and receptions. It was the center of socialization throughout the conference, with a bar filled with lawmakers, ministers, lobbyists, and Tory activists late into the night.

'Prime minister takes immediate action' Mr Burns is a close ally of Boris Johnson, having played a central role in his original Tory leadership campaign - then minister of commerce, then minister of Northern Ireland.

He resigned from the ministerial office in 2020 after an investigation found he threatened a company chairman over a financial dispute with his father. He returns to the front bench in 2021. On Friday evening, sources at Downing Street said Truss was not aware of any formal complaints about Burns' behavior before he appointed him commerce secretary last month.

The Telegraph understands that the complaint against Mr Burns was filed on Thursday evening by a third party witness to the events, not by the alleged victim. Wendy Morton, Head of Whips, told Burns on Friday afternoon that she had been fired as minister and Tory's whip was revoked. A spokesman for Number 10 said: “Following the complaint of serious misconduct, the Prime Minister has asked Conor Burns MP to leave the Government immediately.

"The Prime Minister took immediate action upon being informed of these allegations and it is clear that all ministers must maintain a high standard of conduct - as the public expects."

A spokesman for the whipping office said: “We have suspended the caning pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior earlier this week. “We take all these allegations very seriously. The Prime Minister has made clear that the highest standards of public life must be upheld.”

An ally of Mr Burns questioned whether his closeness to Mr Johnson or the criticism Ms Truss felt during the conference, when he questioned diplomacy by Instagram, played a role in his quick dismissal. Mr Burns won his seat at Bournemouth West by more than 10,000 votes in the 2019 election, potentially creating a challenging by-election suspension for the Tories if it becomes vacant.

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