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UK MP Involved in Gambling Lobbying Scandal Has Stepped Down

Scott Benton (Credits: The Times)

Tory MP Scott Benton has resigned, citing his commitment to safeguarding Blackpool’s interests. His decision follows a gambling lobbying scandal that emerged a year ago.

Benton faced suspension from Parliament amid accusations of engaging in lobbying activities. In early 2023, representatives from a gambling company approached the Blackpool South MP. Benton made several controversial promises, including offering them early access to a government white paper two days before its official release.

He also suggested lobbying on their behalf for a monthly payment of £4,000. Benton also hinted at having previously posed parliamentary inquiries for another company.

MP Scott Benton (Credits: ITVX)

Unknown to Benton, the supposed gambling business representatives were undercover reporters who recorded the conversation. Consequently, Benton became embroiled in controversy and was eventually suspended from Parliament.

The House of Commons Committee on Standards concluded that Benton’s actions tarnished the government’s reputation, portraying him as susceptible to corruption and “up for sale.” Had Benton not chosen to resign, he could have faced recall from Parliament next month and potentially a by-election.

Gambling lobby MP (Credits: Morning Star)

In a statement regarding his departure, Benton emphasized that he acted in the best interests of Blackpool and the United Kingdom. He reiterated his commitment, pledged upon securing his seat in 2019, to be an active and attentive MP, listening to constituents’ concerns.

Benton expressed confidence in fulfilling his pledge. Following parliamentary exit procedures, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed Benton’s appointment as Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. Benton’s successor is scheduled to be elected on May 2, coinciding with local elections.

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