Politics

Chris Pincher accuser ‘furious’ over Downing Street’s response to groping allegations

Patrick Kelleher July 3, 2022
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Chris Pincher posing for a parliamentary portrait.

Chris Pincher. (Official parliamentary portrait)

A man who was allegedly groped by Tory MP Chris Pincher has said he is “furious” at Downing Street’s response to the scandal.

Pincher, an MP for Tamworth, resigned as deputy chief whip on Thursday (30 June) after it was alleged that he groped two men at the Carlton Club in St. James, London. In a statement, he admitted he had drunk “far too much” and “embarrassed myself and other people” on a night out.

The MP finally had the whip removed by the Conservative Party on Friday (1 July) after an investigation was launched into his conduct.

One of the men who alleges that he was groped by Pincher has now hit out at Downing Street over the amount of time it took to remove the whip.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, the man said he didn’t want to report the incident at first because he thought “this is something that happens in Westminster”.

He continued: “But I am angered by the fact that I should feel like that, and even more angry by the way No 10 have dealt with it… I am furious. I know it sounds really silly but I felt shell-shocked when I found out they were initially going to let him keep the whip.”

Downing Street hasn’t denied that there were concerns about Pincher prior to his appointment as deputy chief whip, however a spokesperson has insisted Johnson wasn’t aware of any “specific allegations”.

Chris Pincher MP speaks in Tamworth
Chris Pincher MP speaks in the George Bryan Centre in Tamworth (Image: Twitter Screenshot)

Conservative chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris later said the prime minister was in agreement that Pincher should be suspended while the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme conducted its investigation.

“We will not pre-judge that investigation. We urge colleagues and the media to respect that process,” a spokesperson for Heaton-Harris told ITV News.

Chris Pincher allegations are just the latest to rock the Conservative Party

The scandal is just the latest to rock the Conservative Party, which has repeatedly found itself mired in sexual misconduct claims over the last two years.

In July 2020, Charlie Elphicke was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault against two separate women less than one year after he resigned as a Conservative MP.

The following year, Conservative MP Rob Roberts was found to have made “significant” unwanted sexual advances against a member of staff. He was suspended for 12 weeks, however he later rejoined the party.

In April 2022, Imran Ahmad Khan was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy at a party in 2008. He resigned as a Conservative MP just weeks later.

The party’s most senior figures have also been embroiled in numerous scandals surrounding breaching of lockdown rules.

Pincher was first elected as an MP for Tamworth in 2010. In 2017, he quit the whips’ office and voluntarily referred himself to police after allegations surfaced that he had made unwanted sexual advances towards former Olympic rower Alex Story.

PinkNews has contacted Chris Pincher for comment.

 

 

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