MP’s work carrying on despite leave of absence on medical advice

Dr Dan Poulter

Dr Dan Poulter - Credit: Archant

Staff working for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter have insisted that casework is still being dealt with although he has been on sick leave for a few weeks.

Dr Poulter has remained away from the House of Commons and has not been undertaking constituency engagements on medical advice – although he is hoping to start public work again before Christmas.

However he has been in regular contact with his staff and has been giving them instructions about casework as well as writing letters about constituency matters.

The Conservative Whips in the House of Commons know about his illness and are being very supportive – he has been absent from votes in the Commons since he was referred to his party’s new disciplinary committee at the start of November.

A spokeswoman for the MP said: “Dr Poulter is currently unwell and on sick leave. His constituency office remains fully active and Dr Poulter is fully informed of all matters at Westminster and in his constituency.

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“While Dr Poulter remains indisposed, all urgent constituency matters will continue to be dealt with in writing to ensure that the needs of his constituents are met.”

This week we contacted Dr Poulter through his office and they passed on a comment from him about the new bid for city status for Ipswich.

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His office said Dr Poulter hopes to start undertaking some light duties in the constituency over the next few weeks.

He has received strong support from his Conservative Association. Constituency chairman Mark Newton said it was clear that work for constituents was carrying on and he had not heard of any problems from local residents.

Mr Newton said: “I am in regular contact with Dan and his office is working as normal. When someone is ill, their office carries on to cover and that is what is happening now. I look forward to Dan returning fully to work very soon.”

The referral to the disciplinary committee followed a national newspaper report of allegations dating back several years.

His office has issued a statement saying: “Dr Poulter vigorously denies the allegations made against him by unnamed individuals and has placed all matters relating to them with his lawyers.

“He is confident that the Party’s complaints procedures will exonerate him of any misconduct or inappropriate behaviour.”

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