PARLIAMENT’S sleaze watchdog today recommended disgraced MP Chris Pincher face an eight-week suspension from the Commons.
The punishment for Mr Pincher’s “completely inappropriate” conduct could trigger Rishi Sunak’s fifth by-election this year.
Parliament’s sleaze watchdog has recommended an eight week suspension for disgraced former Tory MP Chris Pincher, potentially triggering another by-election
Last year HOAR revealed that the former Deputy Chief Whip groped two young men in a glamorous Tory members’ club in London.
HOAR also exposed allegations that the Tamworth MP once groped a vulnerable young man who had passed out in his flat
The shocking incidents led the politician to stand down from his ministerial role and a day later he had the Conservative whip removed.
But for a year Mr Pincher has carried on as an independent while steering clear of the Commons.
This morning’s report by Parliament’s Standards Committee found the ex-minister’s behaviour “was completely inappropriate, profoundly damaging to the individuals concerned, and represented an abuse of power”.
It said Mr Pincher touched his victim’s bottom “before moving his hand to touch and squeeze the witness’s testicles, which lasted for a few seconds”.
The victim described the incident “as having been traumatic and having impacted his wellbeing”.
In a statement Mr Pincher said: “I’m conscious of the effect the evening and the coverage must have had on all the parties involved, as well as on my own family.
“I’m very sorry and apologise to them all, as I did the day I resigned from the Government.”
In its investigation, parliament’s sleaze committee solely looked at whether Mr Pincher “caused significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House as a whole, or of its Members generally”.
The report explained: “The perception that MPs can engage in such conduct with impunity does significantly impact public perception of the House and its Members.”
It then concluded Mr Pincher should be “suspended from the service of the House for eight weeks”.
The MP’s suspension will automatically trigger a recall petition, which if enough constituents sign will lead to a by-election.
But Mr Pincher could voluntarily step down before a recall petition is launched.
Tamworth would be the FIFTH by-election battle facing the Tories.
Three have already been triggered by MPs loyal to Boris Johnson and wary of Mr Sunak standing down.
And a fourth will take place when ex-minister and Boris ultra-loyalist Nadine Dorries formally tenders her resignation.
However, insiders think that process could be dragged out to cause maximum pain for the PM.
Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner called for Mr Pincher to immediately step down.
“Chris Pincher‘s actions are shocking,” she said.
“But what’s even worse, is the way the Conservative party protected him, even promoting him despite a previous investigation into his conduct.
“Chris Pincher should now do the decent thing and resign as an MP. The people of Tamworth and the surrounding villages deserve more from their Parliamentary representative.”