MP denies voting to keep Johnson in exchange for Isle of Wight ‘money bag’ | Conservatives

A Tory MP has angrily denied voting to keep Boris Johnson as leader of his party in exchange for a ‘bag of money’ for his constituency after he was accused of ‘corruption’ in the Commons.

Bob Seely, MP for the Isle of Wight, wrote on his website that he only backed the Prime Minister in his vote of confidence ‘after discussion with senior ministers’.

Seely told voters ministers assured him they would “review” funding for the island hours before Monday’s vote.

In furious exchanges in the Commons on Wednesday, shadow leveling secretary Lisa Nandy said the behind-the-scenes talk “sounds awfully like corruption to me”.

Nandy was asked to withdraw Commons Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing’s allegation after Seely said it was “completely false”.

The row follows reports that some Tory MPs have been offered government jobs in return for backing Johnson in the confidence vote.

Nandy was addressing a second reading of the Government’s Leveling and Regeneration Bill when she asked Michael Gove, the Secretary of State, if he was aware of Seely’s statement.

She said, “Can I ask the secretary of state: was he aware of this? Did he sign it? Because that sounds terribly like corruption to me.

Seely immediately demanded that Nandy withdraw the “completely false” allegation and said: “She completely misunderstands and she is completely wrong.”

The Isle of Wight MP said Johnson promised years ago to correct a “policy flaw” and give his constituency more funding. Seely said he reminded Johnson of that promise ahead of Monday’s vote.

He told MPs: “I said to the Prime Minister are you going to commit to righting this wrong, which is a political flaw, and he said yes – and I reminded him of that promise beforehand.

“So did I ask for a bag of money? No, and it’s completely wrong of her to say that, so she can stand up now and apologize.

Seely then shouted “stand down” across the House of Commons as Nandy stood up.

Nandy said she was quoting Seely’s statement on her own website – as Seely said “false” in the background.

Raising a point of order, in which MPs draw attention to a breach of the rules by another member, he added: “This is a very serious allegation. Corruption has been alleged and there is no basis for it and it should be removed.

Laing said she was unable to judge whether Nandy was misrepresenting Seely’s statement and therefore asked the Labor MP to withdraw the “very serious” allegation.

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Nandy agreed to take down the ‘corruption’ remark, but said it ‘sounded terribly dodgy’.

Seely later called the allegation “stupid” and said: “For the record, I make no apologies for persuading the government to treat the Isle of Wight like all the other islands in the UK.

“The island is the most underrepresented place in this country – I have twice as many voters. We are separated by sea from the mainland and I have to fight three times harder for a government to ‘listen.

Asked about Seely’s comments earlier, the prime minister’s spokesman said money for local areas was decided through a process led by officials.

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