The deputy chief whip of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resigned from his post following allegations that he sexually groped two men during a drunken party at a members-only club in London.
Christopher Pincher, the Conservative MP for Tamworth has quit his post in the Tory Whips Office following accusations that he had engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour against two other guests at the deeply conservative Carlton Club in London after imbibing alcohol.
In the United Kingdom Parliament, it is the role of ‘whips’ to enforce discipline within party groups. A Conservative whip may, therefore, be expected to keep members of Parliament in line by regulating their behaviour to prevent scandals and by making sure they vote the way their party wishes them to in the chamber.
According to a report from The Sun, in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Pincher wrote: “Last night 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.”
So far Pincher has not resigned from his position as a Member of Parliament and has not had the whip removed from him, meaning he can still sit in the House of Commons with the Tory Party.
The accusations against the former deputy chief whip are just the latest in a string of sleaze stories to befall the ruling Conservative party, including in April when former Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage boy. In May, it was also revealed that an unnamed Conservative MP had been arrested on suspicion of rape.
More broadly across Westminster, it has been reported that there are currently around 50 MPs under investigation by parliamentary authorities over alleged sexual assaults.
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