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Ex-Tory whip Chris Pincher quitting as an MP after losing groping appeal

07 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Tory former whip Chris Pincher. UK Parliament/PA Wire

Former Tory whip Chris Pincher has said he is resigning as an MP after losing his appeal against a suspension for drunkenly groping two men, paving the way for another by-election for Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives.

Mr Pincher said he did not want to put any “further uncertainty” on his constituents in Tamworth, in the West Midlands, and has “made arrangements to resign and leave the Commons”.

He had sought to reduce the potentially by-election triggering eight-week suspension recommended by the Commons Standards Committee for what was found to be an “egregious case of sexual misconduct” at London’s exclusive Carlton Club last year.

But Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel (IEP) dismissed his appeal on Monday.

In a statement to the PA news agency, the former deputy chief whip said: “I have said already that I will not stand at the next general election.

“However, following the Independent Expert Panel’s decision I wanted to talk to my office team and family.

“I do not want my constituents to be put to further uncertainty, and so in consequence I have made arrangements to resign and leave the Commons.

“Tamworth is a wonderful place and it has been an honour to represent its people.”

Mr Pincher is understood to have written to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in the archaic formality required to quit the Commons.


The Standards Committee found in July the MP’s conduct last summer was “profoundly damaging” and amounted to an abuse of power.

His actions were described as “unwanted, inappropriate and upsetting”.

The eight-week suspension would have triggered a recall petition if it had been approved by MPs, which was almost inevitable.

A by-election would then have followed if the petition was signed by 10% of constituents.

Mr Pincher appealed the punishment, arguing it was disproportionate, but the IEP said Mr Pincher’s arguments were “misconceived or erroneous” and backed the committee’s proposed sanction.

He resigned from his Government post after the incident, which proved to be the final nail in the coffin of Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister amid anger at his handling of the affair.

Mr Pincher subsequently lost the Tory whip, meaning he has been sitting in the Commons as an independent.


Since resigning as deputy chief whip, taxpayers have paid him £99,184 in salary and £7,920 in ministerial severance, while he has claimed £13,860 in rent as expenses.

Former Conservative culture secretary Nadine Dorries’ bitter exit from the Commons last week has already lined up a by-election in Mid Bedfordshire for October 19.

The Tories have held that seat since 1931 and Ms Dorries held on to it in 2019 by 24,664 votes over second-placed Labour.

But the Conservatives are wary of any electoral test after a sustained period in which national polling has put the party lagging far behind Labour.

Mr Pincher has been comfortably voted for by Tamworth residents since 2010 and won a 19,634 vote majority at the last general election.

The Treasury has been contacted over Mr Pincher’s resignation letter.


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7 months ago

“groping two men”
Well what else did you expect him to do ?? … it’s all in the name ‘Chris Pincher’

7 months ago

He honourably quits before being sacked, after holding on by his fingernails til the bitter end

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
7 months ago

Scandal after scandal from this zombie, corrupt Tory government. It is time for a GE – so this atrocious lot can be boot into oppostion.

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