August 13, 2022

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A Conservative MP has resigned after admitting he twice watched porn in the House of...

A Conservative MP has resigned after admitting he twice watched porn in the House of Commons.

Neil Parish admitted to the BBC on Saturday that he watched adult material parliament, claiming the first time was accidental after looking at tractors online.

The select committee chairman had initially vowed to continue as MP for Tiverton and Honiton but said he would quit after recognising the “furore” and “damage” he was causing his family and constituency.

The 65-year-old former farmer, who was first elected in 2010, said: “The situation was, funnily enough it was tractors I was looking at, so I did get into another website with sort of a very similar name and I watched it for a bit, which I shouldn’t have done.

“My crime, my most biggest crime, is that on another occasion I went in a second time, and that was deliberate.

“That was sitting waiting to vote on the side of the chamber.”

In a statement, his local Conservative association in Tiverton and Honiton, Devon, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Neil Parish for his service to our communities over the past 12 years.

“We support his decision to step down as our Member of Parliament.”

It means a by-election will be held in his seat – which Parish retained for the Tories at the last election with a majority of 24,239 – later this year.

Parish, a 65-year-old farmer, said he had referred himself to parliamentary commissioner for standards Kathryn Stone.

On Friday afternoon, the rural affairs committee chairman said he would be continuing his “duties” as an MP while “cooperating fully” with investigators.

He also suggested that he had opened the pornography on his phone accidentally.

His wife Sue Parish said “it was all very embarrassing” as she told the Times she was not aware of her husband having done similar activities before.

“No. He’s quite a normal guy, really. He’s a lovely person. It’s just so stupid,” she said.

Before being identified as the MP at the centre of the storm, Parish was asked about the allegations during an appearance on GB News earlier this week.

He was non-committal on whether the suspect should have the whip removed and denied there was a large cultural problem in Westminster, despite senior Conservative colleagues having decried it as being “shameful”.

“We’ve got some 650 members of parliament in what is a very intense area,” Mr Parish said.

“We are going to get people that step over the line. I don’t think there’s necessarily a huge culture here but I think it does have to be dealt with and dealt with seriously and that’s what the whips will do.”

The pornography claims followed reports that 56 MPs, including three Cabinet ministers, are facing allegations of sexual misconduct that have been referred to the ICGS.

They also follow outrage over The Mail On Sunday publishing “sexist” and disputed claims from unnamed Tory MPs that deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner tried to distract Boris Johnson with her legs during PMQs.

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