Disgraced MP Chris Pincher facing new investigation by parliament watchdog after ‘groping’ scandal
Chris Pincher, the Conservative MP who resigned from a senior government role over sexual misconduct allegations, is under investigation for potentially damaging the reputation of the House of Commons.
The former Tory MP for Tamworth, Staffordshire, is under investigation by parliamentary commissioner for standards Kathryn Stone, who is responsible for investigating alleged breaches of the House’s code of conduct.
Stone, who is stepping down in January to be replaced by Daniel Greenberg, has launched an inquiry to see if Pincher’s actions have caused “significant damage to the house”.
If she finds evidence against the former deputy chief whip then suitable punishment, ranging from an apology to suspension from parliament, could be suggested.
Should a suspension of longer than 10 days be passed a recall election would be actioned, which, if signed by 10 per cent of constituents, would lead to a by-election in Pincher’s seat in Tamworth, Staffordshire.
Pincher now sits as an independent member of the Commons after being removed following a formal complaint made about him to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, which investigates reports of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct.
Chris Pincher’s history
Pincher quit on 30 June 2022 after being accused by two men of drunkenly groping them the evening before while at the Conservative Party’s private members’ club.
In his resignation letter to Johnson, Pincher said he had “drank far too much” and “embarrassed myself and other people”.
It emerged that former prime minister Boris Johnson had ignored a second allegation of sexual misconduct made against Pincher in 2019 when he appointed him deputy chief whip in February this year.
However former top civil servant, Simon McDonald, told the parliamentary standards commissioner that Johnson was briefed in person about a 2019 allegation of groping by Pincher, The Guardian reported.
Downing Street insisted for days Johnson did not know of any previous accusations against Pincher.
But it later emerged that Johnson was aware of the 2019 complaint, and the scandal triggered a wave of resignations and the downfall of Johnson’s administration.
Pincher recently claimed a “severance payment” worth up to £8,000, The Times revealed.
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