Tory MP Brooks Newmark has announced he will not stand again for Parliament next year, following revelations that he had a 2-year-long affair and sexted multiple young girls including a reporter posing as a young girl. It was a horrible thing to do to his family, and, sure as night follows day, Newmark has told the press he’s “depressed”. But why are so many people falling for the sob story?
Here’s something you probably don’t know about Brooks Newmark: a few years ago, when he was a Government whip, he was responsible for spreading the most appalling, malicious and untrue story about a colleague of his: a Tory MP who is a close friend of mine.
I can’t give you the details, but, frankly, you wouldn’t want them. They involved homosexuality and a disgustingly explicit lie about my friend’s health, and the reason the latter was in hospital. He told this story, which he must surely have known to be nonsense, to at least one senior journalist at a national newspaper and at least one other Tory MP.
It’s impossible to say for sure how far the gossip spread by the end – only that the rumours made their way to me via three different people, so it must have been all over the House of Commons. So you see there’s more to Newmark’s “bizarre and abhorrent” behaviour than merely the dick pics, the cheating, and the cynical deployment of the depression card now he’s been caught out.
Someone should have seen him going off the rails a long time ago and stepped in, which is why I find this morning’s orgiastic hand-wringing about his terrible plight a tad unconvincing, to say the least. Where were all these sympathetic fellow depression sufferers a few years ago, when Newmark was spinning out of control? They say they saw it coming. So why didn’t they act?
And I can’t be the only one who finds Newmark’s odd sort of peacocking distasteful, no pun intended. He was seen “sauntering cheerfully” through Parliament last week by a political journalist, despite this paisley palaver being splashed all over the Sun.
Newmark’s not resigning immediately, of course, because the by-election would be inconvenient for the Conservatives. And he’ll hang on to his MP’s salary until the next election, as well as the handsome severance package associated with it.
The idea of retiring gracefully from public life to rebuild his wife’s shattered trust and get the help he apparently so desperately needs hasn’t even occurred to him, has it?