Tory MP Mark Menzies apologises to his constituents after scandal

Tory MP Mark Menzies apologises to his constituents after scandal

Disgraced Conservative MP Mark Menzies has said he is “deeply sorry” for the “mistakes” he made that have ended his political career.

The Fylde MP quit the Conservative Party and will leave Parliament at the next election after an internal investigation found “a pattern of behaviour that falls below the standards expected of MPs”.In a column for the Lancashire Post, he told constituents he had been through the "toughest tests", adding: "I have made mistakes and I am deeply sorry for that".

He added: “Recent years have been an incredibly difficult time for mepersonally. While I will not be going into detail about this publicly, I havefaced personal challenges that have proven some of the toughest tests of mylife.”

Mark Menzies MP (Dave Benett)
Mark Menzies MP (Dave Benett)

He said being “at the centre of a media storm is far from easy” and added that he had combined his work as an MP with being a carer for his 89-year-old mother who is “living with dementia and a catalogue of other conditions”.

The politician has been accused of misusing political donations to cover his medical expenses and pay off “bad people” who had locked him in a flat and demanded money for his release.

An investigation into the allegations, denied by Mr Menzies, found that while there had not been a misuse of party funds his behaviour fell below the required standards and may have breached the Nolan principles of public life.

It comes after The Times reported Mr Menzies called his 78-yearold former campaign manager, Kate Fieldhouse, at 3.15am one day in December, claiming he was locked in a flat and needed £5,000 as a matter of “life and death”.

The sum, which rose to £6,500, was eventually paid by his office manager from her personal bank account and subsequently reimbursed from funds raised from donors in an account named Fylde Westminster Group, it was alleged.

A Conservative party spokesman said the money in question had been signed off by two signatories of the Fylde Westminster Group.

They said: “This body sits outside of the remit of both the Conservative Party and Fylde Conservative Association. Therefore we cannot conclude that there has been a misuse of Conservative Party funds.

“However, we do believe that there has been a pattern of behaviour that falls below the standards expected of MPs and individuals looking after donations to local campaign funds which lie outside the direct jurisdiction of the Conservative Party.”

Mr Menzies has been MP for Fylde since 2010, and won a majority of 16,611 at the last election.

He has become the 101st MP to say he will not fight his seat at the next election.