Tory Deputy Chief Whip resigns for second time over ‘groping’ allegations

Deputy Chief Government Whip Chris Pincher has resigned following allegations of assault.

In a resignation letter to Boris Johnson, the MP said he had ’embarrassed myself and others’ after drinking ‘far too much’.

It came after The Sun reported he allegedly ‘groped’ two drunk men on Wednesday night.

It is the second time he has left the office of party-discipline whip after resigning in 2017 following accusations he made an unwanted sexual advance on the former Olympic rower and campaigner curator Alex Story. He was cleared of any wrongdoing by a conservative investigation.

Pincher wrote in the letter: “Last night I drank way too much.

“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 affected. I think the right thing to do under the circumstances is that I step down as Deputy Chief 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 the back seats, and I wish you all the best as you face 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 quit after assaulting two other guests at the Carlton Club on Wednesday night.

He also suggested that Pincher would not lose the Tory whip because he admitted wrongdoing and resigned.

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

She said: “This latest episode shows how the standards of public life have been degraded under the watch of Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson has some serious questions to answer about why Chris Pincher was given the role in the first place and how he can remain a Tory MP.

“There can be no question of conservatives sweeping potential sexual assault under the rug.

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

“Tory MPs who continue to support this Prime Minister’s crippled administration need to develop a backbone and tell him the party is over.”

His departure comes just days after Oliver Dowden stepped down as party co-chairman following by-election defeats in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton.

That leaves Johnson, who returned from the NATO summit on Thursday after nine days out of the country, with another headache with two crucial roles to fill.

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

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

After referring to both the police and the Conservative Party complaints procedure, he was brought back by Theresa May as Deputy Chief Whip in January 2018.

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