A MINISTER was sacked after touching a young man’s thigh at a hotel bar, witnesses have claimed.
Conor Burns, 50, is accused of placing his hand there in the early hours during this week’s Conservative Party conference in front of several onlookers.
The Bournemouth West MP, who has also been suspended from the Conservative Party, was allegedly told to stop it by one onlooker. His friends dispute this.
Sacked Trade minister Mr Burns denied any wrongdoing.
A source told the BBC that Tuesday’s incident is what led him to being sacked and losing the whip.
Another said concerns were raised about inappropriate comments he made on the night.
Allies suggested pain-relief medication the MP was on after injuring his ribs the weekend before made the effect of alcohol worse.
They do not dispute that he was drinking or flirting with the young man who joined him. It is understood the man was unknown to Mr Burns.
One friend said: “He feels imprisoned without any of the process of the police or a trial.”
Downing Street has not commented on why he was sacked.
The Sun revealed yesterday that he was fired and had the whip suspended following complaints about “serious misconduct”.
It was understood a witness complained to party officials about alleged “lecherous behaviour” towards a younger man.
The sacked trade minister told the Sun he will “fully cooperate with the investigation and looks forward to clearing his name”.
Mr Burns last night said he received a call from Chief Whip Wendy Morton informing him of his suspension.
In a series of tweets he said: “I was not given any information about the complaint nor was I asked to provide any information…
“I hope the party will be as quick to conduct their enquiry as they were to rush to judgement.”