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Home ยป Former Tory Whip To Stand Down At Next Election After Club Assault Claims

Former Tory Whip To Stand Down At Next Election After Club Assault Claims

Chris Pincher, the MP whose conduct kickstarted the end of Boris Johnson’s premiership, is standing down at the next election.

Mr Pincher, who has been the MP for Tamworth since 2010, resigned from his job as deputy chief whip in July last year following allegations about his conduct.

Mr Pincher was accused of groping two men in a private members club and apologised for “drinking far too much” and embarrassing “himself and other people”.

Mr Johnson then suspended Mr Pincher from the Tory party after he came under pressure to take swift action in the wake of the allegations.

It later emerged that Mr Johnson had already been told about an investigation into Mr Pincher’s conduct three years earlier.

In an explosive letter to parliament’s standard’s commissioner, former Foreign Office permanent secretary Lord McDonald accused Downing Street of making “inaccurate claims”, saying they “keep changing their story and are still not telling the truth”.

Downing Street eventually admitted that Mr Johnson had been told about an investigation into Mr Pincher’s inappropriate behaviour in 2019, despite days of it saying he had been unaware of specific allegations against his former deputy chief whip.

Mr Johnson later acknowledged he had been informed of inappropriate behaviour dating back three years but suggested he forgot.

Although he apologised, the former prime minister’s handling of the scandal precipitated his downfall after it followed allegations of rule breaking in Downing Street during the COVID pandemic.

MPs’ goodwill was also tested by his attempts to change the rules to prevent the suspension of then-Conservative MP Owen Paterson after he broke lobbying rules.

Moments after Mr Johnson apologised for appointing Mr Pincher, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid resigned from their cabinet positions as chancellor and health secretary, respectively.

It sparked a wave of resignations that led to the collapse of Mr Johnson’s government.

Mr Pincher has represented his constituency in the Commons as an independent MP ever since he was was stripped of the Tory party whip.

He remains under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for “actions causing significant damage to the reputation of the House as a whole, or of its members generally”.

Mr Pincher is one of a number of MPs to announce that they are standing down at the next election.

Mr Javid, former health secretary Matt Hancock and Tory MP Nadine Dorries are among a number of big names who will not seek a return to the Commons.