A BY-ELECTION will take place in Wellingborough in the new year after 10,505 people backed a petition to recall MP Peter Bone.

The petition had to be signed by 10% of the 79,046 eligible voters in his Northamptonshire constituency – 7,904 people – and 13.2% did.

The MP was suspended from the Commons for six weeks in October after an inquiry found he had subjected a staff member to bullying and sexual misconduct.

He was sitting as an independent after losing the Conservative whip.

Bone 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 that 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 denied the allegations.

Speaking after the result was announced Bone said that the petition “came about as a result of an inquiry into alleged bullying and misconduct towards an ex-employee which was alleged to have occurred more than 10 years ago. These allegations are totally untrue and without foundation”.

He added: “I will have more to say on these matters in the new year.”

He said 68,897 people “chose not to sign the petition which represents 86.8% of the electorate” and there would be a by-election early next year.

“This seems bizarre as 86.8% of the electorate did not want to remove me from office, nor for there to be a by-election, and yet we are still to have one.”