Chris Pincher: Watchdog will examine allegations against former Tory MP

An investigation by a parliamentary watchdog will be done into allegations of sexual misconduct against former Conservative deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

Chris Pincher: Watchdog will examine allegations against former Tory MP

An investigation by a parliamentary watchdog will be done into allegations of sexual misconduct against former Conservative deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

Two men were allegedly groped by Mr Pincher in a private club.

On Thursday, he wrote a letter to his government job, stating that he had "drank far too much" as well as "embarrassed himself and others".

Boris Johnson is being criticized for not suspending him sooner. However, a Downing Street source stated that he took swift action.

Prior to Johnson acting, senior Conservative MPs and opposition party members told him that Mr Pincher was in a untenable position.

Downing Street suggested that the prime minister would consider the matter closed following the resignation of Mr Pincher as deputy chief whip.

On Friday afternoon, however, he was suspended as Tory MP after a formal complaint was filed with the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

It is unclear if the watchdog will open a formal investigation.

This watchdog was established in 2018 to investigate complaints of inappropriate behavior, including bullying, harassment, or sexual misconduct. It can also result in sanctions for MPs.

Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP, suggested that Downing Street had used "double standards" when it dealt with Neil Parish and Mr Pincher.

After he admitted to watching pornography twice in Parliament on his phone, Mr Parish, a former Tory MP, resigned in May. He also accused the government "double standards".

BBC Newsnight was informed by Mr Bridgen that the latest allegations were "very similar to Neil Parish's". He also said: "I have a lot to sympathize with his remarks tonight that there seems like to have been two standards."

"You need to question the motives behind this. Neil was an independent-minded Conservative backbencher. He did not seek patronage, but he did hold ministers accountable.

"And clearly Chris Pincher is seen to be an arch-loyalist. I believe that will be the cause for the differences in their treatment. That's not tenable."

Pincher wrote the prime minister in his resignation letter: "Last night, I drank far to much."

He said: "I believe the right thing to have in these circumstances is to resign from my position as deputy chief whip. You and all the people I have caused distress to, I owe this to you.

Witnesses reported to the BBC that Mr Pincher was "extremely drunk" at St James's's Carlton Club on Wednesday night.

According to the BBC, the Metropolitan Police has not received a report on an incident at the venue.

The Sun newspaper reported his resignation first, stating that he was at the club drinking when he is accused of assaulting two male guests.

According to a Tory MP, they previously raised concerns with Mr Pincher about his behavior with senior figures at No 10 and within the Conservative Party.

A spokesperson for No 10 said that Mr Johnson did not know of any allegations against Mr Pincher prior to his appointment as deputy chief whip.

Now Mr Pincher will be an independent.

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