OPINION - The Standard View: Tory MP allegations another body blow for political standards

 (Christian Adams)
(Christian Adams)

That even the perpetrator can immediately recognise his position was untenable and resigned from the Government demonstrates the progress that has been made in recent months.

But the behaviour of Chris Pincher MP, who has left his role as deputy chief whip after allegedly groping two men at an event, was both shocking and speaks to the problems that persist both in Westminster and across society.

It is not naive that we should expect our elected representatives to be above reproach. Pincher should consider his future as a parliamentarian, not simply as that of a member of the Government.

Not least because the thousands of men and women working on the Parliamentary estate, as well as Pincher’s own constituents, have the right to feel safe as they go about their days.

This is the second time Pincher has left the whips office, having previously been accused of sexual impropriety. In 2017, he was accused of making an unwanted pass at a Tory activist and former Olympic rower, Alex Story, which begs the question why was he granted a senior role in Government a second time.

After a whirlwind and successful tour, meeting with fellow world leaders at the G7 and Nato summits, these revelations were not the news Boris Johnson was hoping to return to. Nor are the numbers from the Evening Standard’s exclusive Ipsos MORI poll, which find that Labour is on 41 per cent and the Conservatives 30 per cent.

Ultimately, standards in public life matter. Today is another damaging one for Parliament.

Neuroscience boost

Imagine a world in which the time to develop pioneering new treatments is cut from 15 years to 15 months. It could soon be a reality.

London, for so long at the cutting edge of biomedical and neuroscience research, is set to be boosted by a £7 million appeal to open a landmark new centre.

The UCL Neuroscience “centre of excellence” is due to open in two years in Grays Inn Road on the site of the former Eastman Dental Hospital. The centre will include a “world-first” patient research hub that will grant researchers direct access to visitors attending appointments, with the goal of massively reducing development times.

From Parkinson’s to dementia, this facility has the potential to transform not only treatments but the lives of millions who suffer. Let’s get it fully funded so the world can truly benefit from these astonishing breakthroughs.

Take pride in Pride

It started in a cellar at the London School of Economics in 1970. And half a century on, Pride in London is bigger than ever.

People come to the capital from all over the country, indeed from every corner of the world, because they know that in our city they can find their community and be their whole selves.

Pride is, of course, both a party and a protest. So get out there, pull on your rainbow leg warmers, and march, cheer and celebrate. After two years of Covid cancellations, there is a lot of fun to make up for.