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Welsh Secretary says case of drunken deputy chief whip will ‘absolutely not’ be swept under the rug

01 Jul 2022 5 minute read
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart on Sky News

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart has said that the case of a deputy chief whip who dramatically quit the UK Government following a drunken incident will “absolutely not” be swept under the rug.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing calls to expel Chris Pincher, who said he had “embarrassed myself and other people” after having had “far too much” to drink.

The Sun reported that he stood down after assaulting two fellow guests at the Carlton Club – a Tory Party private members’ club in London’s Piccadilly – on Wednesday evening.

However, the paper said he would continue to sit as a Tory MP as he was considered to have done the right thing by admitting wrongdoing and resigning.

Wales Secretary Simon Hart said he was “very sad” about the situation, but that it was for Conservative chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris to decide whether to withdraw the whip from Mr Pincher.

The Cabinet minister told Sky News: “This makes me very sad, it makes me sad for everybody who’s been involved in these things. It’s clearly something which has gone terribly wrong.

“There is a process, I think it’s important that the process is followed.”

He added: “I think it is entirely right, that the chief whip and others take a view today about what is the appropriate course of action.

“Of course, if there are those who are victims of this or who wish to raise complaint, they can do so.”

Asked whether he believed Mr Pincher should lose the whip, he said he knew “what he would like to see happen” but that the decision was not down to him.

“Let’s let today play out, let the chief whip do his duty today, and then I think we might be having a very different conversation as the day goes on.”

Asked whether he hoped the issue would get swept under the rug, Mr Hart said: “Absolutely not.

“This is not the first time, I fear it possibly won’t be the last. This happens in workplaces from time to time.”

‘Degraded’

Labour said it showed the party was “mired in sleaze and scandal” and questioned how Mr Pincher could still be allowed to take the Conservative whip given what had happened.

In May, the Tory MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, resigned his Commons seat altogether after he admitted watching pornography in the Commons chamber.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “This latest episode shows how far standards in public life have been degraded on Boris Johnson’s watch.

“Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer about why Chris Pincher was given this role in the first place and how he can remain a Conservative MP.

“The Conservative Party is so mired in sleaze and scandal that it is totally unable to tackle the challenges facing the British people.”

In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Pincher apologised for his behaviour, saying it had been “the honour of my life” to have served in the Government.

“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,” he said.

“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as deputy chief whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.

“I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from the back benches. It has been the honour of my life to have served in Her Majesty’s Government.”

Unrest

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the force has not received any reports of assault at the Carlton Club on Wednesday.

His departure in such dramatic circumstances is a further blow for the Prime Minister who has been beset with allegations of misconduct over lockdown parties in Downing Street.

The Tamworth MP was appointed alongside chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris last February to shore up support for the Prime Minister amid growing unrest among Tory MPs over the “partygate” disclosures.

It is the second time he has quit the whips office, having resigned as a junior whip in November 2017 following a complaint that he made an unwanted pass at the former Olympic rower and Conservative candidate Alex Story.

Having referred himself to both the police and the Conservative Party complaints procedure, he was brought back by Theresa May as deputy chief whip in January 2018.

When Mr Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, he was moved to the Foreign Office as minister for Europe and the Americas before returning to the whips office for a third time.

His departure comes just days after Oliver Dowden quit as party co-chairman in the wake of the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-election losses.

It leaves Mr Johnson, who returned from the Nato summit on Thursday after nine days out of the country, with another headache with two crucial roles to fill.


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Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
5 months ago

This is the Tories. NOTHING is shameful enough to make them quit / be sacked (unless they are junior / not from Eton or Harrow). A rabble of liars, hypocrites, drunks and thieves without honour or credibility. And the British people lap up their excretions happily.

Last edited 5 months ago by Not My Real Name
Marc
Marc
5 months ago

I don’t think the Welsh and the Scottish are lapping up their excretions or anything else for that matter, it is the English and only the English that are keeping the ship of fools afloat

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

What about those MPs tooled up with Rohypnol or the one the Whips have asked to stay away but have not suspended? That one is accused of rape.
This recidivist sex pervert was in charge of party discipline and standards of behaviour. You couldn’t make it up.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago

” It as been an honour to swerve er majisties Gov……………..

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Simon Hart is the Conservatives answer to Comical Ali (Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf) who was the infamous Information Minister in Saddam Hussein’s government during the 2003 Iraq war. He like Hart was brought out to make outlandish statements, in his case, made the claim to the onlooking world media how there was no Allied forces in Baghdad as American planes flee overhead and tanks passed by the window . Hart said on Sky News with a straight face how sexual assault (plural) by this Tory chief whip has not been swept under the carpet. I beg to differ. Sorry Simon. Being… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

The Conservative Government seems to have a problem with alcohol, plainly encouraged from the very top. (I’ll not list the rest). Perhaps the Speaker could encourage those that run the Palace of Westminster to close one of the many bars and convert it into a Alcoholics Anonymous meeting room / safe space…

Theresa May’s lack of judgement has cost this country dearly, she is not alone, whoever thought David Cameron and George Osborne suitable for high office should hang their heads in shame…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Thank you mod…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

Guto Harri has apparently told Tory MPs to “think about how this vulnerable man feels”.

I guess nobody bothers to worry about how his multiple victims feels?

Kurt C
Kurt C
5 months ago

Of course not. They will use his awful behaviour to distract from the toxic masculinty, bigotry and lies of Johnson.

Llywelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf ond Un
Llywelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf ond Un
5 months ago

And will the case of Alexander Johnson receiving oral sex in his office from his mistress, also not be swept under the carpet? Hancock resigned for just kissing his mistress in the office. Or was Johnson’s blow-job a ‘work event’?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

Is that from a ‘Kiss and Tell’ book? Rohypnol ! you do learn a lot on here…

Last edited 5 months ago by Mab Meirion
Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
5 months ago

So the pervert has resigned as whip, but remains as MP. In his resignation letter he said he “Embarrassed himself and others”.
Is that what the Tories call sexual assault now?

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

Dirty old perv ….. tiptop Tory ministerial material !

andrew r north
andrew r north
5 months ago

Seems like we have govt comprised of sexual deviants.. the party that supports family values used to be one of their catchphrases if i recall correctly.. not so it seems. I wonder how many other family guys will be exposed in the future.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

There’s no room left “under the carpet” that’s why.

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

They will probably ask the Met police to investigate, that should calm all our worries, and then they can get back to doing the things the voters want and expect. And then I will wake, up 50 years younger, and a millionaire as well.

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
5 months ago

Actually old boy TOFF SLANG sweet F A to do with you have your bunch of tory toff buffoons got rid of all your M P,s who done far far worse sex pests etc double standards always keep your noses out of Wales better still get the hell out of Wales

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

Marina Hyde on Simon Hart’s ‘this happens in work places from time to time’…was he a minder in a lap dancing club before he got elected to that ‘red house’ over yonder…

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
5 months ago

Well, blow me down with a feather, looks like johnson has tried to sweep this under the carpet, just like he tried to help paterson, it amazes me how so many people are still willing to support this 2nd rate dictator.

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