Suspended MP Christopher Pincher has apologised and said that he is “truly sorry” for his conduct and is seeking “professional medical support” following allegations he groped two men at a private member’s club in London.
Following the claims, Mr Pincher resigned from his position as deputy whip before then having the whip removed - and he will now sit as an independent MP.
On Tuesday Rishi Sunak quit as chancellor alongside Sajid Javid, just as the Prime Minister was being forced into a humiliating apology to address the row.
Who is Christopher Pincher?
Christopher Pincher was appointed Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip) of the Conservative Party on 8 February 2022.
The Sun reported that he stood down after assaulting two fellow guests at the Carlton Club – a Tory Party private members’ club in London’s Piccadilly – on Wednesday evening.
He was previously Minister of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 19 September 2021. He was first elected Conservative MP for Tamworth in May 2010.
He had previously held the post of Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from 13 February 2020 to 19 September 2021, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 25 July 2019 to 13 February 2020 and Deputy Chief Whip, Treasurer of HM Household from 9 January 2018 to 25 July 2019.
From June 2017 to November 2017 he was Comptroller of HM Household (Government Whip) as well as an Assistant Government Whip from 17 July 2016 until 15 June 2017.
Why did he resign?
The deputy chief whip’s resignation letter to Boris Johnson on Thursday said: “Last night I drank far too much.
“I’ve embarrassed myself and other people which is the last thing I want to do and for that I apologise to you and to those concerned.
“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.
“I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from the back benches, and I wish you all the best as you deal with aftershocks of Covid and the challenges of international inflation.
“It has been the honour of my life to have served in Her Majesty’s Government.”
— Calgie (@christiancalgie) June 30, 2022
His departure comes just days after Oliver Dowden quit as party co-chairman in the wake of the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-election losses, meaning the Prime Minister now has two roles to fill.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said Mr Pincher’s resignation showed the Conservatives were “mired in sleaze”.
“This latest episode shows how far standards in public life have been degraded on Boris Johnson’s watch,” she said in a statement.
“Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer about why Chris Pincher was given this role in the first place and how he can remain a Conservative MP.
“The Conservative Party is so mired in sleaze and scandal that it is totally unable to tackle the challenges facing the British people.
“The Conservative MPs who continue to prop up this Prime Minister’s paralysed administration need to grow a backbone and tell him the party’s over.”