British Lawmaker Resigns After Getting Caught Watching Porn During Plenary

Daily Report Nigeria
Daily Report Nigeria
4 Min Read

A lawmaker from Britain’s ruling Conservative party resigned on Saturday, after admitting he deliberately watched pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons chamber.

Neil Parish, who represents a seat in southwest England, said he was standing down and triggering a by-election in the Tory stronghold after what he called a moment of “total madness”.

“I think I must have taken complete leave of my senses and my sensibilities and in a sense of decency, everything,” he told the BBC in a candid interview aired Saturday announcing his resignation.

“(It was) a moment of madness and also totally wrong… I’m not going to defend it.”

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The 65-year-old, who has been an MP since 2010, had already been suspended Friday from the Conservatives and faced at least two parliamentary probes after he was publicly outed in the scandal.

His public identification ended days of speculation after it emerged at least two other lawmakers had complained that he had been seen watching porn in the Commons, amid broader accusations of a misogynistic environment in Britain’s parliament.

Parish’s decision to resign triggers a by-election in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency in Devon where he won a majority of more than 24,000 in the 2019 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson swept to a landslide victory.

The seat has returned Conservative MPs ever since its creation in 1997, while Tories have represented the area for the past century.

However, Johnson and his party have faced a string of scandals since last summer that have dented its standing. A by-election in the historically safe seat of North Shropshire last December saw the Tories lose there for the first time.

Parish, a farmer who chaired the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said in the interview that he strayed into watching porn on another occasion after visiting a tractor website with a similar name to an adult content site.

“My 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 (Commons) chamber,” he explained.

The MP added that, contrary to reports, he had not sought for his actions to be visible to colleagues.

“I will take to my grave as being true… I was not actually making sure people could see it. In fact, I was trying to do quite the opposite.”

The scandal comes in the same week it was revealed that at least 56 MPs, including three ministers, are currently being probed over allegations of sexual misconduct by parliament’s own complaints office.

Meanwhile, the Conservative party has been accused of misogyny after the Mail on Sunday newspaper last week quoted unnamed Tory MPs accusing the deputy leader of the opposition Labour party, Angela Rayner, of trying to distract Prime Minister Boris Johnson with her legs.

AFP

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