PM’s deputy chief whip quits over drunken groping claims

Daily news Downing Street Westminster

The Conservative party deputy chief whip Chris Pincher has resigned following claims he drunkenly groped two men at the party’s private member Carlton Club.

Pincher was only recently appointed to the role and the Tamworth MP told Boris Johnson, “I owe it you and the people I’ve caused upset to” to resign.

In his resignation letter to the prime minister, Pincher wrote: “Last night [Wednesday] 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.”

Second time deputy chief whip resigns over groping allegations

In his letter, Pincher did not address allegations that he has been reported to Conservative whips by two Tory MPs who witnessed the deputy chief whip groping two men whilst drunk at the carlton Club last night (June 29).

The Met Police said it has not been made aware of the alleged incident.

It is the second time Pincher has resigned from the Conservative whips’ office after allegations made in 2017 that he had groped Alex Story, a former Olympic rower and Tory activist.

Pincher’s two-time resignation over similar allegations poses further questions about the prime minister’s decision making and judgement in appointing him to the disciplinary position of deputy chief whip over other Conservative MPs.

It is the second high-profile resignation from senior positions in the Conservative in less than a week. Oliver Dowden quit as party chairman last Friday following the disastrous results in two by-elections, further damaging Johnson.

Ex-SNP MP jailed for embezzlement

Elsewhere, a former SNP MP has been jailed for embezzling almost £25,000 from two groups campaigning for Scottish independence.

Natalie McGarry, the MP for Glasgow East from 2015 to 2017, faces almost two years behind bars following a six week trial.

Issuing the sentence, Sheriff Tom Hughes told McGarry she has betrayed people who trusted her. “It’s quite clear that society has a right to expect the highest standards from those who seek and eventually achieve high public office.

“Through your role in these offences, you have not only betrayed the trust placed in you by others, but your standards have fallen well short of those the public should have a right to expect from MPs.”

McGarry had claimed in court that she had “no idea” donations made to a Crowfunder campaign were going from a PayPal account straight into her personal bank account.

McGarry resigned the SNP whip shortly after her election as an MP when she was linked to allegations of missing donations in November 2015. She continued to sit as an independent until stepping down from her seat in 2017, when prime minister Theresa May called a snap election.

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