Tory quits in protest at 'criminal irregularities'

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Tory MP Bob Spink today announced he had resigned the Conservative whip because the party had failed to deal with "serious criminal and other irregularities" in his constituency.

The Castle Point MP made the dramatic announcement while raising a point of order during Commons debate on the Budget.

He said: "I have as of today resigned the Conservative Party whip because the Conservative Party has failed to deal with serious criminal and other irregularities in my constituency."

He alleged electoral irregularities and breaches of party rules.

"I hope my action in resigning will bring the necessary changes and therefore be in both the public and party's best interests."