PM suspended MP facing groping claim after hearing 'disturbing account' of incident

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The Prime Minister faced immense pressure to remove the whip from Tamworth MP Chris Pincher.
The Prime Minister faced immense pressure to remove the whip from Tamworth MP Chris Pincher.

Boris Johnson suspended the Tory whip from an MP accused of drunkenly groping two men after hearing "disturbing" allegations from one of the witnesses to the incident, according to reports.

The Prime Minister faced immense pressure to remove the whip from Tamworth MP Chris Pincher after a complaint was made about the latter to the Parliament's watchdog that investigates allegations of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct.

Mr Pincher resigned from his role as Tory deputy chief whip after a drunken incident in which he allegedly groped two guests at a London club.

A Downing Street source revealed that Mr Johnson bowed to pressure after speaking to a Tory MP who witnessed the incident.

“The account given was sufficiently disturbing to make the PM feel more troubled by all this,” the source told the PA news agency.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson 'dragged' into suspending Tory MP Chris Pincher after groping claim

A separate claim against the MP surfaced on Friday from a young Tory activist who alleged he suffered an unwanted sexual advance last year.

The activist said the MP put his hand on his knee and told him he would “go far in the party” at a party conference event last year.

Mr Pincher’s lawyers told the newspaper he firmly denies the allegation, which mirrors a complaint which led to the MP’s resignation from the whips office for the first time, in 2017.

Former Olympic rower and Conservative candidate Alex Story alleged Mr Pincher touched him while making an unwanted pass and using similar language.

Mr Pincher was reinstated two months later as a senior whip by Theresa May after having referred himself to both the police and the Conservative Party complaints procedure.

Downing Street appeared to acknowledge that there had been concerns when he was appointed in February to the whips’ office, with responsibility for discipline over Tory MPs.

It is not the first scandal relating to sexual misconduct which has plague the Conservative Party this year.

In May, Neil Parish quit as MP for Tiverton and Honiton after admitting to watching pornography in the Commons chamber.

The previous month Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan was jailed for 18 months for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Mr Parish lamented his treatment and suggested Mr Pincher was protected by his proximity to the Prime Minister.

Mr Pincher remains under investigation by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

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