Conservative Party suspends Chris Pincher MP pending investigation into claims he drunkenly groped two men

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Conservative Party suspends Chris Pincher MP pending investigation into claims he drunkenly groped two men
  • Chris Pincher was suspended from the Conservative Party, pending an investigation into groping claims.

  • The former deputy chief whip resigned Thursday night but had not been removed from the party.

  • On Friday, Boris Johnson agreed to suspend him following mounting pressure from MPs.

Chris Pincher has been suspended from the Conservative Party as an investigation takes place into claims he drunkenly groped two men this week.

The former deputy chief whip apologised and resigned on Wednesday, but had retained the whip, meaning he was able to continue sitting as a Tory MP.

But following widespread pressure from colleagues Chris Heaton-Harris, the Tory chief whip, on Friday suspended Pincher pending the investigation.

A spokesperson for Heaton-Harris said: "Having heard that a formal complaint has been made to the ICGS, the PM has agreed with the Chief Whip that the whip should be suspended from Chris Pincher while the investigation is ongoing.

"We will not pre-judge that investigation. We urge colleagues and the media to respect that process."

Earlier on Friday,two female Tory MPs wrote to Heaton-Harris calling for a zero-tolerance approach to claims of sexual misconduct, including that against Pincher, and asking for MPs to be suspended if they are awaiting sexual-misconduct investigations.

Karen Bradley, a former Cabinet minister and chair of the procedure committee, and Caroline Nokes, a former Home Office minister, called for "a thorough investigation is carried out in each and every case".

They added: "Once an investigation has been completed, a decision should be taken about returning the whip, but in the meantime, anyone subject to such an investigation should not be allowed to sit as a Conservative MP and represent the party in any capacity."

Separately, another male Conservative MP was arrested on suspicion of "indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust, and misconduct in public office," in mid-May.

Pincher has been replaced in the whips' office by Kelly Tolhurst, a former housing minister and junior whip.

Angela Rayner, Labour's deputy leader, said: "Boris Johnson has been dragged kicking and screaming into taking any action at all.

"He just can't be trusted to do the right thing. This whole scandal is yet more evidence of his appalling judgement.

"It's time for Conservative MPs to show this chaotic Prime Minister the door before he can do any more damage."

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