Chris Pincher: Tory deputy chief whip resigns over ‘groping’ claims

You know the drill by now.

Every week, the Conservative Party drags the UK through a hedge backwards leaving it emerging dishevelled, tarnished and more worthy of the title "Britain" than "Great Britain".

So every week, we pinpoint and highlight the most egregious examples of Tory rule - it is not exactly like looking for a needle in a haystack.

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And if we have to wade through the swamps then you do too.

So let's cut the patter - here are 11 of the worst things the Tories did this week.

1. Boris Johnson confirmed what we already knew

Kicking off the week to a good start, leader of the party Boris Johnson denied feeling "personal shame" about voters losing confidence in him.

Speaking to ITV News he answered "no" when quizzed on the issue.

"I understand that people are going to want to criticise me, attack me for all sorts of reasons, some of them good, some of them less good," he continued.

“I think that actually when you look at what this government has done, it is pretty remarkable. We're going to continue to do that."

Polls have not exactly been Johnson's friend as of last and last week the Tory party lost not one but two by-elections, lest we forget.

Nothing to be ashamed about, though.

2. Matt Hancock hit the dancefloor

Talking of shame... when Michael Gove hit a Scottish club last year, the UK almost turned itself inside out such was the force of its collective cringe.

But this didn't stop Matt Hancock making similar moves. Adding to his litany of PR blunders, the former health secretary reportedly went clubbing in Oxford, and danced to 'I Want You Back' by the Jackson Five - we wonder if he was thinking about his old cabinet job...

"He's a worse dancer than he was health secretary," MP Jake Berry laughed when he was shown the clip on Talk TV.

It's thought that Hancock was on a night out with old university friends when they headed to the club called Atik.


3. A Tory MP waded into the Roe v. Wade debate

On a far more serious note, last week, the Supreme Court controversially overruled Roe v. Wade, making abortion no longer a constitutionally protected law.

When British MPs discussed the issue, Tory MP Danny Kruger said he disagreed with people who think "woman have an absolute right to bodily autonomy" and added that he does not think British MPs should "lecture" the United States on the recent decision.

"The facts are I would probably disagree with most members who've spoken so far about this question," Kruger said. "They think women have an absolute right to bodily autonomy in this matter, whereas I think in the case of abortion, that right is qualified by the fact that another body is involved.

"And I offer to members who are trying to talk me down that this is a proper topic for political debate and my point to the Frontbench is I don't understand why we are lecturing the United States on a judgement to return the power of decision of this political question to the states. To democratic decision makers rather than leaving it in the hands of the Court," Kruger added.

4. Controversial new protest laws came into force

Laws in the UK have been raising eyebrows too, like the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which came into force on Tuesday. Yay. One of the lovely things the act introduces is an offence of intentionally or recklessly causing a public nuisance.

So kicking things off, the police tried to stop prominent parliament protester Steve Bray by confiscating his speakers.

He shared videos of the incident on social media.

5. Dominic Raab winked at Angela Rayner

On Wednesday, Johnson and leader of the opposition Keir Starmer were busy so the weekly PMQs battle fell to their respective deputies, Dominic Raab and Angela Rayner.

The two always have tense exchanges and it was no different this week when Raab accused Rayner of being a "champagne socialist" for attending a music festival and opera, then winked at her.

He got roasted on social media and Rayner had the last laugh when she said:

“The Marriage of Figaro is the story of a working-class woman who gets the better of a privileged but dim-witted villain."

She added: “Judging by his own performance today, Dominic Raab could learn a lesson about opening up the arts to everyone, whatever their background.”

6. Boris Johnson embarrassed himself at NATO

While Raab was at PMQs embarrassing himself, Johnson was busy embarrassing himself at a NATO summit in Madrid. Firstly, the PM was pictured sticking his fist up in the air to greet US president Joe Biden as he arrived at a table. Biden looked confused and ignored his fist bump.

7. Johnson awkward encounter with Erdogan

If that wasn't bad enough, he had an awkward run-in with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when the European leader appeared behind Johnson and grabbed him on the shoulder as the prime minister awkwardly shuffled out of his grasp, removed his hand and said "hello friend."

8. Nadine Dorries unleashed her latest gaffe

Meanwhile, never one to get her brief right, culture secretary Nadine Dorries has now confused two types of rugby.

Speaking at a Rugby League World Cup event in St Helens on Thursday, the minister said: “I’ve always quite liked the idea of rugby league" before referencing the moment Johnny Wilkinson won the 2003 world cup for England with a drop goal in the closing stages – which was in fact rugby union and not rugby league.

“My long-standing memory is that 2003 drop-goal. I’ll let you into a secret. I think we were drinking Bloody Marys at the time… it was 11 o’clock in the morning,” she said.

Social media didn't forgive her, so she said:

9. Gavin Williamson got a... well-deserved job

Culture is in the bin then, and apparently so is education because the former education secretary who famously presided over the A-Level grade algorithm fiasco of 2020 has just got a second job - as an education adviser...

Williamson has managed to land the role of chairman for RTC Education Ltd.’s advisory board – according to The Guardian meaning he will give “general strategic advice on international business expansion and attend regular advisory board meetings”, and given his numerous gaffes, people on social media couldn't work out why

10. Another Tory has resigned over 'sleaze'

This week Tory 'sleaze' returned when Tory Deputy Chief Whip Christopher Pincher sent Johnson a letter of resignation claiming he "drank far too much" and "embarrassed [himself] and other people" this week.

It came after witnesses told BBC that Pincher was "extremely drunk" at an event on Wednesday night.

According to The Sun, Pincher allegedly groped two men - although this claim has not been substantiated.

Pincher later had the whip withdrawn as an investigation into his conduct was launched.

11. And the Home Office is facing a Brexit-related legal challenge

Finally, a statutory body set up to monitor EU citizens’ rights after Brexit has been granted permission for a judicial review of a Home Office decision to remove the rights of people living in the UK for less than five years before Brexit if they do not apply in time for permanent residency status.

The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) argued the rules were a breach of the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, which guaranteed the rights of EU citizens who were in the country before Brexit.

Doesn't this all make you proud to be British?...

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