Home International News Tory Deputy Chief Whip quits for second time amid 'groping' allegation

Tory Deputy Chief Whip quits for second time amid ‘groping’ allegation

The deputy head of government, Chris Pincher, has resigned after allegations of assault.

In a letter of resignation to Boris Johnson, the MP said he “embarrassed myself and others” after drinking “way too much”.

It came after The Sun reported that he allegedly “caught” two men drunk on Wednesday night.

It is the second time he has stepped down from the whip office, which enforces party discipline, after being fired in 2017 following allegations that he made an unwanted sexual advance on former Olympic rower and Tory activist Alex Story. He was cleared of wrongdoing by a Tory probe.

Pincher wrote in the letter, “I drank way too much last night.

“I have embarrassed myself and other people, which is the last thing I want to do and for that I apologize to you and those involved. I think it is appropriate in the circumstances that I resign as deputy head whip. I owe it to you and the people I upset to do this.

“I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from behind, and I wish you all the best in coping with the aftershocks of covid and the challenges of international inflation.

“It has been the honor of my life to have served in Her Majesty’s Government.”

The Sun reported that he resigned after attacking two fellow guests at the Carlton Club on Wednesday night.

It also suggested that Pincher would not lose the Conservative whip for admitting wrongdoing and resigning.

Angela Rayner, the deputy Labor leader, called for Pincher to be stripped of the whip, which would mean he was no longer a member of parliament representing the Tories.

She said: “This latest episode shows how far the standards in public life have fallen under the watchful eye of Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer about why Chris Pincher got this role in the first place and how he can remain a Conservative MP.

“There can be no question of the Conservatives sweeping a possible sexual assault under the rug.

“The Conservative Party is so mired in sleaze and scandal that it is utterly unable to meet the challenges facing the British people.

“The Conservative MPs who continue to support this Prime Minister’s paralyzed government should build a backbone and tell him the party is over.”

His departure comes just days after Oliver Dowden stepped down as co-chair of the party in the wake of the wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-election losses.

Johnson, who returned from the NATO summit on Thursday after being out of the country for nine days, is left with a new headache with two crucial roles to play.

Pincher was appointed last February alongside head whip Chris Heaton-Harris to bolster party discipline amid unrest among MPs over the way the government was run.

He resigned as a junior whip in November 2017 following the latest complaint.

After referring to both the police and the Conservative Party grievance procedure, he was brought back as a deputy head whip in January 2018 by Theresa May.

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