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Johnson faces calls to punish disgraced whip Pincher after drunken scandal

BORIS JOHNSON faced pressures yesterday to expel former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher from the Parliamentary Conservative Party in the wake of reports that he got drunk at a private members’ club and allegedly groped two men.

Mr Pincher resigned from his whips’ office position on Thursday evening in a letter to the Prime Minister following his alleged assault on two men at the Carlton Club in central London on Wednesday.

The MP, who as deputy chief whip was tasked with maintaining discipline in his party, said in his letter: “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.”

Karen Bradley and Caroline Nokes, the only two female Conservatives MPs who chair Commons select committees, were among those calling for Mr Pincher to have the Tory whip removed yesterday.

Labour’s shadow leader of the Commons Thangam Debbonaire said that the allegations of sexual misconduct must be investigated.

She told BBC Radio 4 that the failure to remove Mr Pincher from the Conservative Party “is part of a wider culture — which comes from the top, I’m afraid — of tolerance of poor behaviour.”

Mr Johnson was made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct against Mr Pincher before he appointed him second in command in the whips’ office, Politico’s London Playbook reported.

Mr Pincher’s resignation is the second time he has quit the whips’ office, having previously left it after making an unwanted advance to Alex Story, a former Olympic rower and Conservative candidate.

Downing Street said that Mr Johnson had had no reason to block Mr Pincher’s appointment, despite appearing to acknowledge that there had been concerns about him.

In May, Politico reported that a member of the government had a “minder” to make sure he left events without drinking too much and getting into trouble.

Yesterday, the news outlet revealed that the MP it had referred to was Mr Pincher.

Its original article listed incidents of recent misconduct in Parliament, including 50 MPs reportedly facing sexual misconduct allegations, a sitting MP being convicted of sexual assault and bullying and another MP suspended for bullying.


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