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by Staff reporter
01 July 2022
Chris Pincher resignation puts pressure on PM

Christopher Pincher, then-minister of state for Europe and the Americas, speaks at the Conservative Party conference in 2019

Chris Pincher resignation puts pressure on PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing calls to remove the former deputy chief whip from the Conservative Party over newspaper allegations that he groped two men.

In a resignation letter released last night, Christopher Pincher MP told the PM he "drank far too much" and "embarrassed" himself and others.

Referring to an incident on Wednesday night, the Tamworth MP apologised to Johnson, saying: "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."

The Sun reports that Pincher was at a Conservative Party private members club in central London, the Carlton Club, on Wednesday night when he was seen to touch two men.

ITV News reports that other Tory MPs contacted party whips, at which point Pincher resigned with a letter that assured Johnson of his "full support from the back benches".

Pincher was appointed to the deputy chief whip role last February. The resignation marks the second time he has stepped down from the whips office, following a 2017 resignation over claims of inappropriate conduct. After an investigation, he was cleared of breaching party conduct rules after allegations emerged that he made an unwanted pass at Tory activist Alex Story, a former Olympic rower.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said "standards in public life have been utterly degraded on Boris Johnson's watch", adding: "Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer about why Chris Pincher was given his role in the first place and how he can remain a Conservative MP."

The matter arises after the resignation of party chair Oliver Dowden and leaves Johnson with two key positions to fill.

It also comes after Neil Parish quit parliament after watching pornography in parliament and the lobbying rule breach scandal that saw Owen Paterson step down.

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