Just when you thought the last 24 hours' news couldn't get more bizarre…

by Stephen Tall on June 5, 2009

Labour’s MP for Norwich North Ian Gibson has quit the House of Commons with immediate effect, triggering a by-election. The Norwich Evening News has his full statement, in which he makes clear his anger at Labour’s handling of disciplinary action following the Daily Telegraph’s allegations over his expenses claims:

It has been my great honour to have served the people of Norwich North as their MP since 1997. … I wish to publicly thank the hundreds of people who sent me messages of support. The decision of the NEC leaves me today bowed but not broken. However, I believe that my position as an MP between now and the next election is untenable. And after discussions with my family, colleagues, party members and my admirable staff, I have decided to tender my resignation as an MP with immediate effect and I expect it to be accepted.”

Here’s the 2005 general election result for Norwich North:

Labour, Ian Gibson – 21,097 (44.9%)
Conservative, James Tumbridge – 15,638 (33.2%)
Liberal Democrat, Robin Whitmore – 7,616 (16.2)
Green, Adrian Holmes – 1,252 (2.7%)
UK Independence, John Youles – 1,122 (2.4%)
Majority: 5,459 (11.6%)
Turnout: 47,033 (61.1%)

So a swing of 6% from Labour to Tory will turn this seat blue, and trigger the next bout of Gordon-Must-Go leadership speculation (if he’s still leader by the time of the by-election, that is).