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MP targeted in parliamentary ‘honeytrap’ scam quits Tories

09 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Conservative MP William Wragg. Photo UK Parliament/PA Wire

Senior MP William Wragg has resigned the Conservative whip after he admitted giving politicians’ phone numbers to a suspected scammer.

The party’s whips office said he was “voluntarily relinquishing the Conservative whip” after he had already stepped back from his roles as vice-chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee and chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The Hazel Grove MP had previously announced his intention to leave Parliament at the next election and will now sit as an Independent.

Dating app

Mr Wragg admitted last week that he had given colleagues’ phone numbers to someone on a dating app amid fears that intimate images of himself would be leaked after he was targeted in a parliamentary sexting scam.

Scotland Yard has said it is investigating reports of the so-called “honey trap” scam after it was suggested that at least 12 men in political circles received unsolicited messages, raising security concerns.

The investigation is not thought to involve the security services.

The unknown scammer is said to have used the aliases “Charlie” and “Abi” while sending flirtatious messages to coax MPs into sending explicit pictures.

Mr Wragg said he was sorry for his “weakness” in responding, an apology which was praised as “courageous and fulsome” by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

But pressure has mounted in recent days amid concerns over parliamentary security, with critics from across the political divide questioning Mr Wragg’s behaviour.


Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden has said it was “right” for William Wragg to resign the Conservative whip.

Mr Holden told Sky News: “He has issued a fulsome apology, he has resigned from the 1922 Committee executive, he has resigned a role as chair of PACAC, which is an important committee in Parliament, and he has also given up the Conservative whip.

“I think we already knew he wouldn’t be standing at the next election, he is standing down, so yes, I think that’s the right thing to have done.”

Asked whether Mr Wragg had jumped or been pushed, Mr Holden said the now-Independent MP had “made his decision”.

He added: “It’s quite clear his career in public life is at an end.”


Pat McFadden, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator, said: “The fact it was left to William Wragg to resign is another indictment of Rishi Sunak’s weakness.

“His MPs were left yet again being sent out to defend a position that has collapsed.

“Rishi Sunak puts party management first every time – and he can’t even do that properly. It is no way to run a country.

“Britain deserves so much better than this endless Tory chaos. the only way to get it is to vote Labour on May 2.”

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1 month ago

Let me get this right, he resigns? Not the party removes a security risk? Rishi decisive as ever. Cons have a habit with security risks and trying to protect wrong uns, Boris going to parties (the Russian ones, as well as covid), they tried to change the rules to keep paterson and then tried to keep Pincher (BJ went off in a huff after that). Braverman jumped before she was pushed for security then re hired then sacked. Tractor porn guy, did they try to protect him?

But Angela Rayner, grrrr, grrrr (shhh, don’t mention [insert many Tory MP’s here])

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