Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

John Houghton MHK suspended over apology refusal

John Houghton
Image caption Mr Houghton has been a Member of the House of Keys since 1996

A Manx politician accused of bullying has become the first to be ever suspended indefinitely from Tynwald.

The parliament's standards committee found North Douglas MHK John Houghton, 57, had "bullied and lied" in relation to a staffing matter.

Members voted to accept the report's findings and said he should apologise.

But Mr Houghton said: "Hell would freeze over" before he did, prompting President Clare Christian to hand down the unprecedented indefinite ban.

Claims Mr Houghton bullied Tynwald officers were made in Tuesday's sitting of the Manx parliament.

The standards committee found Mr Houghton had "bullied, lied and inappropriately interfered in a staffing matter".

Mr Houghton, who claimed the report was "riddled with inconsistencies", said he "could not apologise for something he hadn't done".

While he is excluded from all Tynwald hearings, he remains on full pay.

He will remain suspended until he accepts the findings of the committee's report and formally apologises.

He said: "I am still an MHK and have protested my innocence. Hell will freeze over before I go back there and apologise."

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