THE Tories have picked the partner of a disgraced former MP to run as their candidate in a by-election to replace him.

Peter Bone was removed by his constituents through a recall petition after he was found to have subjected a staff member to bullying and sexual misconduct.

Bone’s partner, Helen Harrison, has now been chosen as the Conservatives’ candidate to run in the by-election to replace him as Wellingborough MP.

Tory party chairman Richard Holden announced that Harrison, a Tory councillor in Northamptonshire, had been selected on social media.

"Congratulations to Cllr Helen Harrison on being selected for #Wellingborough at a packed meeting of Conservative members this afternoon #WellingboroughByElection,” Holden wrote.

In November, the Times reported that Bone had threatened to split the Tory vote by running as an independent unless his partner Harrison was on the candidate short-list.

Journalist Michael Crick, who runs the “tomorrow’s MPs” account on Twitter/X, said Harrison was a “very bold choice”.

He went on: “But local Conservative associations have previously picked candidates to replace their disgraced male partners. “Two cases in 2019 were Natalie Elphicke in Dover and Deal, and Kate Griffiths in Burton-on-Trent, but they were for General Election, not by-election.

“But Helen Harrison was in a strong position as the only local contender on the shortlist, and having stood for Parliament before. But will Peter Bone openly campaign for her, or not?”

READ MORE: Bullying accused MP left alleged victim a 'broken shell' after 'flashing'

Bone held his Northamptonshire seat in 2019 with a majority of 18,540 over Labour, but the Tories have suffered a series of by-election defeats in recent years, including in constituencies which were theoretically safer.

The majority is smaller than the Tory cushions in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire which fell to Starmer’s party in October last year. 

Gen Kitchen is the Labour candidate for the Wellingborough by-election.

A date for the vote to replace Bone has not been set but rules around parliamentary procedure mean it will not take place before February.

In a statement published on social media, Bone said having a by-election seems “bizarre” because “86.8% of the electorate did not want to remove me from office, nor for there to be a by-election” – a reference to the constituents who did not sign the petition.

The veteran politician, who had held his seat since 2005, said the allegations against him are “totally untrue and without foundation”.

The National: Peter Bone

Bone (above) was found to have “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a staff member in 2012 and 2013.

Parliament’s behaviour watchdog, the Independent Expert Panel, upheld an earlier investigation which found he broke the MPs’ code of conduct on four counts of bullying and one of sexual misconduct.

The panel found that he had indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom of a hotel room during a work trip to Madrid.

Bone has repeatedly denied the allegations and said in a statement that he will “have more to say on these matters in the new year”.

The former minister was kicked out of the Tory parliamentary party a day after the report was published on October 16.