From the BBC website:
Deselection row MP leaves Tories
Backbencher Bob Spink has left the Tory group of MPs at Westminster, in a row over apparent efforts by his local party to deselect him.
Mr Spink said he had resigned the whip because the party had not taken action to sort out the association.
But the party said it withdrew the whip when he threatened to resign, in order to maintain “party discipline”.
The Castle Point MP said he would fight the next election as an “independent Conservative”……
There’s a revealing analysis in the Times:
…. Westminster sources said the origin of Dr Spink?s feud with local Tories lay in his affair with a former Conservative councillor, Gail Boland ? the long-term partner of the local association?s deputy chairman, Bill Sharp.
Dr Spink uses his Commons staffing allowance to employ both his ex-wife Janet ? who works from Dorset 150 miles from his constituency ? and Mr Sharp and Ms Boland?s student daughter Ashleigh Sharp.
Since Dr Spink started his relationship with Ms Boland, he and Mr Sharp are said to have been involved in a bitter feud. Mr Sharp reported the MP to the Parliamentary Commissioner for standards, while Dr Spink has complained to the police of Mr Sharp?s ?criminal harassment? and sought injunctions to restrain him In one incident ? which also ended in a complaint to police ? the MP complained that his adversary tried to trap him in a room while Mr Sharp, who ended up on the floor, claimed that Dr Spink had ?decked him?…..
….. The Castle Point constituency executive council had been due to vote next week on the third attempt to deselect Dr Spink. As he no longer holds the Tory whip, that meeting becomes irrelevant: a sitting MP not in receipt of the whip could not be selected as a candidate for the next election. ….
And a Lib Dem website covers it here
I think that a MP should be judged on how he or she represents thier constituents and deals with thier problems when necessary. Not thier private lives. I hope that Bob Spink is able to provide a good service to his constituents for as long as he remains MP and that he receives the necessary support to do this.