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UK MP resign after admitting he watched PORN in Parliament

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The MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish had faced calls to quit after being accused of watching pornography in the Commons by two female MPs.

Neil Parish has resigned as an MP after admitting he watched pornography twice in the House of Commons.

The MP For Tiverton and Honiton told the BBC it had been a “moment of madness” and that he was “not proud” of what he had done.

He said the first time was accidental after looking at tractors, but that the second time was deliberate.

A spokesperson for Tiverton and Honiton Conservatives said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Neil Parish for his service to our communities over the past 12 years.

“We support his decision to step down as our Member of Parliament.”

Outed on Friday as the accused politician, Mr Parish was facing an investigation by the parliamentary standards commissioner.

A chorus of disapproval followed the revelation of the allegations, with MPs on either side of the aisle calling for Mr Parish to resign.

It comes after a week dominated by accusations of sleaze and sexism in Westminster, which threaten to overshadow Tory campaigning for the Local Elections on May 5.

Karen Bradley, who chairs the procedure committee, said claims of porn-watching and misogyny could have an impact as big as the expenses scandal.

Female Tory MPs have been publicly airing stories of sexist behaviour by colleagues and urged party chiefs to do more to change the culture.

Mr Parish, 65, was elected in 2010 and is the chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee – a position that means he is regarded as a “senior MP”. A farmer by trade, he is married with two children and two grandchildren.

Speculation had swirled for days about the identity of the male Tory MP, who on Tuesday night was accused by two female colleagues of watching pornography in the Commons.

Contacted about the allegations before publication, Mr Parish told The Telegraph he had discussed the matter with Chris Heaton-Harris, the Chief Whip, and awaited the conclusion of the investigation.

It was only after being told of an imminent report by The Telegraph that the Tories removed the whip from Mr Parish, meaning he sits an independent MP in the Commons.

Speaking on Friday afternoon, Mr Parish said he had opened pornographic material “in error”.

He later told the Telegraph he had referred himself to the parliamentary standards committee. He apologised to his constituents and suggested that, even if cleared, he might step down.

Mr Parish told the Telegraph: “Whatever people may say, I’ve been a pretty hard-working MP and I shall carry on doing so until such time as I make a decision either to remain or to go.”

He added: “My wife is amazingly loyal and better than I deserve.”

 

Source: Telegraph

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