British MP accused of ‘groping’ suspended by Conservative Party – POLITICO

LONDON — A senior MP accused of sexual misconduct has been suspended from the Conservative Party, less than 24 hours after Downing Street signaled it would take no further action.

Chris Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip late Thursday night after the Sun newspaper alleged he groped two men at a private club. In a resignation letter to the prime minister, he admitted he had been « drinking way too much » and « embarrassing myself and other people ».

A Downing Street official initially said Pincher should face no further disciplinary action and would retain party whip, allowing him to continue as a Tory MP.

However, Pincher was suspended from the party on Friday night following an outcry from MPs on all sides.

A spokesman for the Chief Whip said: « Having heard that a formal complaint had been lodged with the ICGS [independent complaints and grievance scheme]the PM has agreed with the chief whip that the whip should be suspended from Chris Pincher while the investigation is ongoing.

“We will not prejudge this investigation. We urge our colleagues and the media to respect this process.

Earlier POLITICO revealed claims from MPs and Government aides that No 10 had been aware of concerns over Pincher’s behavior since the start of the year.

Pincher was replaced as Deputy Chief Whip by Kelly Tolhurst, a Conservative MP.

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