Chris Pincher Loses Conservative Whip Following Sexual Assualt Allegations
Chris Pincher, MP for Tamworth, has had the Conservative whip removed after he quit government on Thursday following allegations of sexual assault.
A spokesperson for the Chief Whip said: "Having heard that a formal complaint has been made to the ICGS, the PM has agreed with the Chief Whip that the whip should be suspended from Chris Pincher while the investigation is ongoing."
Calls had been growing from Tory MPs for Pincher to lose the whip after The Sun reported that the former deputy chief whip had groped two men at central London's Carlton Club.
The newspaper also reported that several Conservative MPs had complained to the whips' office about his behaviour.
He resigned from government following the reports, claiming in a letter to the Prime Minister that he had drunk "far too much" alcohol and "embarrassed myself and other people" on Wednesday night.
Tory sources initially suggested on Thursday evening that Pincher was unlikely to face internal disciplinary action or lose the whip over the reports as he had “done the decent thing by resigning”.
One government source said removing the whip from him "was the only option", and expressed frustration that Johnson's top team was repeating past mistakes by not taking action sooner.
Welsh secretary Simon Hart hinted heavily on Friday morning that the removal of the whip was imminent, telling Sky News he knew “what I’d like to see happen”.
“You can probably tell what that is just from the way I am trying to avoid answering your question," he said.
"I just think let today play out, let the chief whip do his duty, and we might be having a very different conversation as the day goes on."
It was announced on Friday afternoon that Tory MP Kelly Tolhurst had been appointed to replace Pincher following his resignation on Thursday.
The allegations relating to Pincher are the latest in a series of misconduct scandals to hit the Conservative party.
Somerset and Frome MP David Warburton had the Tory whip removed in April following sexual harrassment claims.
A few weeks later, Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish also had the whip removed, and later resigned as an MP, after he admitted watching pornography in the Commons.
Elsewhere, Imran Ahmad Khan resigned as an MP in May after he was convicted of sexual assault, having previously lost the party whip a year earlier.
It was also reported in May that an unnamed Conservative MP had been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual offences that took place over a period of seven years. It is understood they are yet to have the whip removed.
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