Former British Army Officer turned Tory MP Patrick Mercer has resigned the Tory Party Whip. Mr Mercer was being investigated by the BBC Panorama programme in relation to lobbying. Mr Mercer who rose to the rank of Colonel in the British Army was awarded an OBE for his service in the Six Counties.

In a statement, Mr Mercer said: “Panorama are planning to broadcast a programme alleging that I have broken Parliamentary rules.

“I am taking legal advice about these allegations – and I have referred myself to the Parliamentary commissioner for standards. In the meantime, to save my party embarrassment, I have resigned the Conservative Whip and have so informed Sir George Young.