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Sacked Trade Minister Conor Burns has today vowed to clear his name and said he has never met Mel B after the Spice Girl quizzed him over a cryptic ‘lift comment’ in a Twitter outburst. 

Mr Burns is facing a misconduct claim for a separate incident involving his alleged behaviour towards a younger male in a hotel bar at the Tory conference on Tuesday, with the BBC today reporting that he reportedly touched his thigh and sources claimed an onlooker told him to stop.

The Spice Girl, 47,  last night tweeted: ‘Really??? Your shocked about this complaint??? Let me remind you what you said me in lift…’ 

But Mr Burns today said: ‘I believe I have never met Mel.’

Last night it was not clear what Mel B was referring to her in her tweet but Mr Burns had earlier denied any suggestion of wrongdoing. MailOnline contacted all parties involved for comment.

Mel B had attended the Conservative conference earlier this week to campaign and call for further support for domestic abuse victims.

Friends of the Bournemouth MP have disputed the claim that Mr Burns touched the young man’s thigh in the Hyatt Regency hotel bar in Birmingham but a second source corroborated the alleged account of the incident. 

The complaint is said to have also included allegations of inappropriate remarks, a source close to the investigation last night told the Telegraph

It is claimed that a third party, not the man with Mr Burns, reported the incident to party whips and described his behaviour as ‘lecherous.’ Mr Burns has refuted any allegations of misconduct. 

The Prime Minister sacked Mr Burns from his post in the Department for International Trade on Friday following the complaint, as No 10 insisted ‘high standards of behaviour’ must be maintained. 

Mr Burns said he would ‘fully co-operate’ with a probe by the party, understood to be looking into allegations of inappropriate behaviour at the annual Tory conference.

Sacked Trade Minister Conor Burns has vowed to clear his name and said he has never met Mel B after the Spice Girl, pictured at the Tory conference last weekend, quizzed him over a cryptic 'lift comment' in a Twitter outburst

Sacked Trade Minister Conor Burns has vowed to clear his name and said he has never met Mel B after the Spice Girl, pictured at the Tory conference last weekend, quizzed him over a cryptic ‘lift comment’ in a Twitter outburst

The Spice Girl, 47, last night tweeted: 'Really??? Your shocked about this complaint??? Let me remind you what you said me in lift...' But Mr Burns, pictured, denies meeting her and today said: 'I believe I have never met Mel'

 The Spice Girl, 47, last night tweeted: ‘Really??? Your shocked about this complaint??? Let me remind you what you said me in lift…’ But Mr Burns, pictured, denies meeting her and today said: ‘I believe I have never met Mel’

 

A source told the Mirror: ‘Mel has never been scared to speak the truth to power so it is no surprise that she’s spoken up. If this Tory MP has said something particularly offensive in her company then she’ll say so and no doubt told him when it happened.

‘Mel is such a strong woman. It could be yet another really embarrassing episode for the Tories. You don’t p**s off a Spice Girl!’

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Burns had only been appointed to his new role by the Prime Minister a month ago, with his appointment being vetted by the Cabinet Office’s propriety and ethics team. 

The hotel where the alleged incident is said to have taken place was visited frequently by Conservative Party delegates as it was a ‘secure zone’ – used by delegates between fringe events and receptions for socialising.

The bar was often packed full of attendees including MPs and Tory activists late every night. All allegations of misconduct have been strenuously denied by Mr Burns.  

The complaint about Mr Burns, pictured, allegedly concerns inappropriate remarks and actions towards a younger man at the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham on Tuesday night, a source close to the investigation told the Telegraph

The complaint about Mr Burns, pictured, allegedly concerns inappropriate remarks and actions towards a younger man at the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham on Tuesday night, a source close to the investigation told the Telegraph

It comes after Conor Burns, pictured, earlier broke his silence on 'serious misconduct allegations' and accused the Tory party of 'rushing to judgement' as a probe was launched into his 'inappropriate behaviour' during the party conference in Birmingham

It comes after Conor Burns, pictured, earlier broke his silence on ‘serious misconduct allegations’ and accused the Tory party of ‘rushing to judgement’ as a probe was launched into his ‘inappropriate behaviour’ during the party conference in Birmingham

It comes after the embattled MP earlier broke his silence on the ‘serious misconduct allegations’ and accused the Tory party of ‘rushing to judgement’ as a probe was launched into his ‘inappropriate behaviour’ during the party conference in Birmingham. 

The MP responded to being sacked as trade minister in a series of tweets.

Mr Burns, who has also had the Conservative whip removed, tweeted: ‘Earlier I received a call from the Chief Whip Wendy Morton.

‘Ms Morton informed me that a complaint had been received about me and she had passed it to Conservative Campaign Headquarters to investigate. I was not given any information about the complaint nor was I asked to provide any information.

‘On the basis of this complaint Ms Morton told me that the Whip was being withdrawn and that I was standing down as Trade Minister. I will fully cooperate with the Party’s enquiry and look forward to clearing my name.

‘I hope the party will be as quick to conduct their enquiry as they were to rush to judgement.’

The former Northern Ireland minister is a longstanding ally of ex-prime minister Boris Johnson

The former Northern Ireland minister is a longstanding ally of ex-prime minister Boris Johnson 

Chief Whip Wendy Morton (pictured at the Tory Party conference this week) called Mr Burns directly to inform him he was having the whip withdrawn and he would stand down as Trade Minister after news of the allegations came to light

Chief Whip Wendy Morton (pictured at the Tory Party conference this week) called Mr Burns directly to inform him he was having the whip withdrawn and he would stand down as Trade Minister after news of the allegations came to light

Conor Burns has vowed to clear his name after losing the Conservative whip, according to the Sun

Conor Burns has vowed to clear his name after losing the Conservative whip, according to the Sun

Mr Burns, 50, was removed as a trade minister by Liz Truss yesterday afternoon and lost the Conservative whip while he is investigated. 

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The former Northern Ireland minister is a longstanding ally of ex-prime minister Boris Johnson

A No10 spokeswoman said: ‘Following a complaint of serious misconduct, the Prime Minister has asked Conor Burns MP to leave the government with immediate effect.

‘The Prime Minister took direct action on being informed of this allegation and is clear that all ministers should maintain the high standards of behaviour – as the public rightly expects.’

A spokesman for the Whips’ Office said: ‘We have suspended the whip pending investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour earlier this week.

‘We take all such allegations extremely seriously. The Prime Minister has been clear that the highest standards in public life must be upheld.’

 Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner claimed the Truss Government was already ‘beset by scandal’.

‘This deeply disturbing revelation is the latest in a long line of serious misconduct allegations, and raises serious questions not only about yet another minister but about the Prime Minister’s judgment in refusing to appoint an independent ethics adviser,’ she said.

But one Whitehall source said that the sacking of Mr Burns and the way things have been dealt with ‘goes against natural justice.

And they added that they thought it was the chief whip trying to ‘assert herself’ as many have thought she is not tough enough. 

The source also said that his sacking was used to ‘put a foot on the brake’ of Kemi Badenoch’s growing support in the party.  

Mr Burns was appointed minister of state in the Department for International Trade in last month’s reshuffle, after Ms Truss took the reins in No 10.

He was previously a minister in the Northern Ireland Office, and had been a staunch ally of former prime minister Boris Johnson.

The former Northern Ireland minister, who is now a trade minister, is a longstanding ally of former prime minister Boris Johnson

The former Northern Ireland minister, who is now a trade minister, is a longstanding ally of former prime minister Boris Johnson 

MP Conor Burns responded to being sacked as trade minister in a series of tweets

MP Conor Burns responded to being sacked as trade minister in a series of tweets

Tory MP Simon Hoare said the investigation should take place ‘speedily’, and on the presumption that Mr Burns is ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

The development is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the Conservative Party, including groping allegations against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

In May, former Tory MP Neil Parish quit his seat in Tiverton and Honiton after admitting to watching pornography in the Commons.

Just short of two weeks later, an unnamed Conservative MP was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault allegations spanning seven years.

The development is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the Conservative Party, including groping allegations against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, pictured

The development is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the Conservative Party, including groping allegations against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, pictured

Tory MP Simon Hoare, pictured, said the investigation should take place 'speedily', and on the presumption that Mr Burns is 'innocent until proven guilty'

Tory MP Simon Hoare, pictured, said the investigation should take place ‘speedily’, and on the presumption that Mr Burns is ‘innocent until proven guilty’

The Tory conference took place in Birmingham earlier this week and was marred by party infighting. The Conservative are currently languishing far behind Labour in the polls. 

Bournemouth West MP Mr Burns was born in Belfast but raised in England after his parents moved during the troubles.  He has previously described himself as a gay Catholic unionist. 

He has been an MP since 2010 and was previously a trade minister under Theresa May.

But he resigned along with Boris Johnson in 2018, before returning to Government under the new PM the following year. 

In January he was faced with ridicule when he defended Boris Johnson’s partygate lawbreaking by suggesting he had been ‘ambushed’ with a birthday cake.

He stood up for the then PM after it was revealed he attended a gathering, complete with a Union Jack cake and singing, that was organised by his wife Carrie in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020.

The then Northern Ireland minister said Mr Johnson was working in the room before people came in and presented him with the baked treat, adding: ‘He, as far as I can see, he was in a sense, ambushed with a cake.’

He was also removed as a patron of the LGBT+ Conservatives last night pending the investigation. 

Bournemouth West MP Mr Burns, pictured, was born in Belfast but raised in England after his parents moved during the troubles. He has previously described himself as a gay Catholic unionist

Bournemouth West MP Mr Burns, pictured, was born in Belfast but raised in England after his parents moved during the troubles. He has previously described himself as a gay Catholic unionist

In January Mr Burns, pictured, was faced with ridicule when he defended Boris Johnson's partygate lawbreaking by suggesting he had been 'ambushed' with a birthday cake

In January Mr Burns, pictured, was faced with ridicule when he defended Boris Johnson’s partygate lawbreaking by suggesting he had been ‘ambushed’ with a birthday cake

A whips office spokesman said: ‘We have suspended the whip pending investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour earlier this week.

‘We take all such allegations extremely seriously. The Prime Minister has been clear that the highest standards in public life must be upheld.’

The swift speed at which action has been taken is in marked contrast to the protracted case of Chris Pincher under Mr Johnson’s leadership.

The Tamworth MP, 52, resigned as deputy chief whip in June after being accused of groping a man more than 20 years his junior at London’s exclusive Carlton Club. 

Downing Street initially said he would face no further action from the party, which meant he could remain a Conservative MP. 

But a day later, Mr Pincher was suspended from the party amid a furore about how he had been made deputy chief whip in the first place. 

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