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Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter denies claims of ‘misconduct or inappropriate behaviour’

PUBLISHED: 11:36 05 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:31 06 November 2017

Dr Dan Poulter.  Picture: SARAH-LUCY BROWN

Dr Dan Poulter. Picture: SARAH-LUCY BROWN

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Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter says he denies “all allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour” after he was referred for investigation by his party’s new disciplinary committee.

Dr Dan Poulter, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Dr Dan Poulter, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It was reported in The Sunday Times that the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP faced allegations he had behaved inappropriately towards female MPs.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “Following a conversation with him, the chief whip has referred Daniel Poulter to the party’s new disciplinary committee for further investigation.”

However, a statement released on behalf of the former health minister this morning said: “Dr Poulter denies all allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour and will vigorously defend himself against any such claims. The Sunday Times story is now in the hands of his lawyers.”

Dr Poulter, 39, has been an MP since 2010 when he was elected with more than a 50% share of the vote. He was re-elected with more than 60% of the vote earlier this year.

Yesterday, Mark Newton, who is chairman of the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Conservatives, gave his support to Dr Poulter.

He said: “I have got every confidence in Dan and I believe the entire association does as well.

“At the last General Election when we did the selection meeting, there was an entire presence of all the members and there was no dissent involved whatsoever.

“Everyone has got complete confidence in him.”

Dr Poulter still works on a part-time basis as an NHS hospital doctor.

Sir Michael Fallon’s shock Cabinet resignation was cast in a new light as it emerged a journalist contacted Downing Street hours before his abrupt departure claiming that he had lunged at her and tried to kiss her on the lips in 2003.

Jane Merrick alleged in The Observer that the incident took place after a lunch when she was a 29-year-old junior political reporter.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Tory whip Chris Pincher had been accused of making an unwanted pass at former Olympic rower and Conservative activist Alex Story.

Mr Story wrote that Mr Pincher came across as a “pound shop Harvey Weinstein”.

Mr Pincher told the newspaper: “If Mr Story has ever felt offended by anything I said then I can only apologise to him.”

Meanwhile, First Secretary of State Damian Green has strongly denied claims by a former police chief that pornographic material was found on one of his Commons computers.

The Sunday Times reported that ex-Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Bob Quick alleged the material was discovered by officers during an inquiry into government leaks in 2008.

Mr Green, who is effectively Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, said: “This story is completely untrue and comes from a tainted and untrustworthy source.”

Elsewhere the Sunday Telegraph said Stephen Crabb has been referred for investigation under the party’s new code of conduct.

The allegations came as Labour’s Harriet Harman hit back at claims that a witch hunt against politicians was under way.

The former deputy party leader told the BBC: “There are a lot of men saying this has been totally blown out of all proportion, this a witch hunt. No, it’s not a witch hunt, it’s long overdue.”

That view was at odds with Tory backbencher Sir Roger Gale, who, giving a hypothetical example of a woman claiming a man kissed her in a lift five years ago, told the BBC: “How does a Member of Parliament refute that? It’s a witch hunt.”

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Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said it is “inconceivable” that the Copdock Mill interchange between the A14 and A12 south of Ipswich will not be rebuilt over the medium term.

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