Neil Parish: Everything we know about the suspended MP accused of 'watching porn in the Commons'

Neil Parish: Everything we know about the suspended MP accused of 'watching porn in the Commons'
Watching porn in Commons 'completely unacceptable', says Tory minister
Sky News

Tory MP Neil Parish has been suspended by the Conservative Whip while an investigation is underway after he was named as the person accused of allegedly watching porn in the House of Commons.

Just days earlier before he was named, Parish had actually appeared on GB News when he was asked for his thoughts on the allegations surrounding the then-unidentified MP caught watching porn on his phone in the Commons chamber.

"I think the whips’ office will do a thorough investigation and we will wait and see that result and from that, then the decision will have to be made what action will be taken," Parish said.

When questioned on if there is a culture problem within Westminister, Parish dismissed this idea: "We’ve got some 650 members of parliament in what is a very intense area. You are going to get people who step over the line."

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"It does have to be dealt with and dealt with seriously," he added.

The allegations were first made by two female Tory MPs who told the party's chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris at a meeting on Tuesday.

"Having spoken to the chief whip this afternoon, [Mr] Parish is reporting himself to the Standards Committee of the House of Commons," a spokeswoman for Tory chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris said.

"Mr Parish has been suspended from the Conservative party whip pending the outcome of that investigation."

The matter has been referred to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) by the chief whip, which investigates claims of bullying and sexual harassment, this process has now begun after at least one witness made a referral.

Though a second investigation could be launched after Parish referred himself to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone who may investigate if the Tory MP has caused "significant damage to the reputation and integrity" of the Commons.

The development comes as the Tories were accused by other political parties of not taking action against the MP in question.

Labour’s shadow leader of the Commons, Thangam Debbonaire MP, said: “The Conservatives knew for days about the disgusting behaviour of one of their MPs and tried to cover it up.

"If Boris Johnson had any shred of decency left, he would tell Neil Parish to resign immediately," Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said.

Who is Neil Parish?

Neil Parish has been a Tory MP for Tiverton and Honiton in Devon since 2010, he held on to his seat in the 2019 general election with a sizable majority of 24,239 and in 2015 was elected chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

He previously served as the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South England for ten years from 1999 to 2009.

It has also been reported by The Mirror's Political Editor, Pippa Crerar, that the Tory MP has mentioned the word "broadband" in the Commons 58 times, "mainly to decry the slow speeds we have in this country..."

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