A new sex scandal involving the UK’s ruling Conservative Party hit the embattled British Prime Minister on Friday, the first day after returning from a world tour.
An MP resigned from his post in Boris Johnson’s government on Thursday following accusations he groped two drunk men.
Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher, who is responsible for discipline in the Conservative Party, admitted he ‘drank way too much’ and apologized for ’embarrassing myself and others’ in his resignation.
He had his whip removed by the Conservative Party, which means he will no longer sit with them in Parliament.
The incident – the Conservatives’ fifth major sex scandal in three months – is bad news for Johnson, who has just returned from an eight-day diplomatic marathon across two continents.
During his international tour, during which he traveled to Rwanda, Germany and then Spain for the G7 and NATO summits, Johnson repeatedly tried to stave off domestic political unrest and called to focus on politics, not people.
“Total degradation of standards”
Complaints have been made to the Conservative Party after Pincher, 52, allegedly touched two men, including another MP, at a private club in central London on Wednesday night.
Witnesses told the BBC he was “extremely drunk” at the Carlton Club, a hangout for members of the Conservative Party.
Although he resigned as deputy chief whip and was suspended as a Tory MP, Pincher will still sit in parliament as an independent.
“It is out of the question for the Tories to ignore a possible sexual assault,” Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the opposition Labor Party, tweeted earlier, criticizing a “total degradation of standards of public life” under the party in the power.
Speaking June 27 at a G7 summit in Germany, Johnson dismissed questions about political issues in his country, including a double by-election and discontent among Tory MPs.
“The government’s job is to continue to govern and resist the blandishments of the media, however brilliant they are, to talk about politics, not talk about ourselves,” he told the BBC.
Latest in a series of scandals
The Pincher affair is the latest in a string of sex scandals that have rocked the Conservative Party since April.
An unnamed Tory MP was charged with rape in May, days after Imran Ahmad Khan resigned as an MP following a conviction for sexual assault.
In April, former MP Neil Parish resigned after watching pornography in parliament, while MP David Warburton was temporarily suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
Warburton, who is married with two children, says he has “tremendous defenses”.
There were also questions about reports that as Foreign Secretary Johnson tried to secure his then-girlfriend, Carrie Johnson, who is now his wife, a high-level job. in his ministry in 2018.
The report first appeared in The Times on June 18, alleging that Johnson was blocked by colleagues after discovering their affair. It was later removed.
The Times and Johnson both declined to comment, but Downing Street confirmed they had asked the paper to retract the story.
The current Conservative government has also been rocked by scandals surrounding drunken parties in Downing Street during the coronavirus lockdowns.
This led Johnson to a vote of no confidence from his own side, which he narrowly survived.