Another One Bites the Dust: MP’s Resignation Prompts a New By-Election Challenge for Sunak

Scott Benton’s resignation amidst a lobbying scandal triggers a challenging by-election for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, reshaping the political landscape in Blackpool South and the country beyond. Here’s the full story.

Bad Few Weeks

Image Credit: Shutterstock / TsvirPixel

To say that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has had a bad few weeks is to understate the serious situation he and his party are in. 

Mounting Scandals

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Miha Creative

Following scandals over racism, Islamophobia, the cost of living crisis and the UK economy’s stubborn refusal to get out of recession, the Prime Minister finds his party limping from one outrage to the next. 

Real Life Intervenes

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ESB Professional

Despite the government’s repeated attempts to show that it has turned things around, real life has a nasty habit of catching up with them. 

Newest Headache

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Elle Aon

The newest headache for Sunak was the announcement that Scott Benton, the MP for Blackpool South, had tendered his resignation, jumping before he could be pushed following a lobbying scandal. 


Image Credit: Shutterstock / bangoland

Benton was initially suspended from his duties as an MP due to the scandal, which first surfaced in April 2023, where he offered his services as a Member of Parliament to undercover reporters posing as lobbyists from the gambling industry.

Bargain Price

Image Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

For the bargain price of £4,000 a month, he offered to break lobbying rules and leak confidential documents to the undercover reporters. 

“Very Serious Breach”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff

An investigation by parliament’s standards committee soon followed, revealing that Benton had committed a “very serious breach” of the rules.

Appeal Rejected

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wavebreakmedia

Benton’s subsequent appeal against the suspension was unsuccessful, setting the stage for the recall petition and, ultimately, his resignation.

35-Day Suspension

Image Credit: Shutterstock / chase4concept

Following his unsuccessful appeal, the parliamentary standards committee recommended a 35-day suspension for his blatant rule-breaking, which led to his constituents launching a recall petition.

10% Needed for Recall

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gajus

Benton’s constituents could force a by-election if 10% of the local population signed the recall petition, and considering the slim majority with which he won the seat in 2019, this seemed likely. 

“A Heavy Heart”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / NicoElNino

Benton attempted to put a positive spin on his resignation announcement, stating on his website, “It’s with a heavy heart that I have written to the Chancellor this morning to tender my resignation as your MP. I’d like to thank the hundreds of residents who have sent supportive messages, cards and letters over the last few months and who have urged me to continue and fight the next election.”

Catastrophic or Corrupt?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Zhanna Hapanovich

He added, “A Labour government would be catastrophic for our country. I’m mindful of giving a new candidate the time and space to campaign to prevent that from happening and it is for this reason that I have made this decision at this time.”

Unique Democracy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wellphoto

Due to the unique way that British democracy works, MPs cannot directly resign from their positions. 


Image Credit: Shutterstock / beeboys

Instead, they must appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be appointed to the role of  Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, disqualifying them from serving in the Commons.


Image Credit: Shutterstock /

Benton’s victory in the 2019 election, unseating Labour, was by a razor-thin margin. With his resignation, Labour is anticipated to be in a solid position to reclaim the seat in the upcoming by-election, adding to the considerable list of challenges faced by the Conservative Party.

Raising Eyebrows

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Antonio Guillem

The timing of Benton’s resignation is sure to raise a few eyebrows. There is a good chance the by-election could be held on the same day as local elections across England on May 2nd. 

Damaging Defeat

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

With his departure, the stage is set for another potentially damaging by-election defeat for the government. 

No Fond Farewell

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Motortion Films

Though Benton stressed that members of his constituency had supported him, it is doubtful that he will get the same fond farewells from Conservative party members, seeing as his actions have led directly to yet another scandal for them to deal with. 

Vultures Circling

Image Credit: Shutterstock / chrisdorney

With the vultures circling, Labour seem poised to steal back the seat come the by-election, though the Tories will also be wary of a resurgent Reform UK who will also have a keen eye on the seat to double their number of MPs in the Commons. 

Winding Down

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Marmalade Photos

With the Conservatives appearing increasingly like a party slowly winding down from over a decade in government, this latest scandal marks just another crack in an edifice that surely must crumble.

The Cracks Begin to Show

Image Credit: Shutterstock /

Just how long it takes before the whole building comes crashing down remains to be seen.

More Articles Like This…

Broken Britain: 12 Reasons Behind the UK’s Decline

Say the Unsayable: 10 Occasions When Farage Spoke His Mind About Britain

The post Another MP’s Resignation Prompts a New By-Election Challenge for Sunak first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / I T S.

Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

Leave a Comment