Scott Benton has Tory whip suspended after being filmed offering to lobby …
Gary Neville has delivered a stinging rebuke to Tory MP Scott Benton over a comment made by the politician back in January 2022 about the football pundit.
Benton has been in the news this week after he had the party whip suspended, a spokesperson for Tory Chief Whip Simon Hart said, pending an investigation into undercover footage of him offering to lobby ministers on behalf of gambling industry investors.
The undercover sting by The Times showed that Benton was prepared to leak sensitive market information to a bogus firm and ask parliamentary questions on their behalf.
Transport minister Richard Holden told Times Radio: “This behaviour is totally unacceptable and I am glad that it is now going to be thoroughly investigated, all the claims made, and will be properly looked into.”
Asked whether an MP’s actions could get any worse than offering to leak confidential documents, Mr Holden replied: “No.”
When pressed that Mr Benton was a Conservative MP, the minister added: “He’s not anymore.”
With this in mind, Neville, who is no stranger to voicing his political opinions, dug out a tweet of Benton's from January 2022 where the MP for Blackpool South said in reference to the former Manchester United defender: "No doubt his political punditry will end with the same success as his managerial career."
This was after Neville had said at the time that Sue Gray's report into Partygate would "finish" Boris Johnson. Benton was hinting at Neville's short-lived spell as a manager.
The former England international took charge of Spanish side Valencia in December 2015 but only lasted until March 2016, losing 11 of his 28 games at the helm.
Clearly not forgetting this comment, Neville retweeted Benton on Saturday April 8th asking the Tory MP: "How are you Scott? Hanging on in their [sic] with your dodgy mates?"
\u201cHow are you Scott? Hanging on in their with your dodgy mates?\u201d
This is hardly the first time this year that Benton has been in the headlines for a football-related story. During Gary Lienker's impartiality dispute with the BBC in March, Benton attempted to praise the stripped-down version of Match of the Day that was broadcast that week, which featured no commentary or punditry and was just 20 minutes of highlights from that Saturday's matches.
Benton wrote: "“Best #MatchOfTheDay episode in years. Had all the goals in, no ‘expert’ analysis, and finished quicker than usual so I could make the pub for the last orders. What’s not to like." Needless to say, it didn't go down too well for him.
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