Conservative MP Brooks Newmark, who has revealed he is quitting Parliament over a second sex scandal, said he has been “battling demons – and losing to them”.
The MP for Braintree in Essex quit as minister for Civil Society in September following a newspaper scandal in which he sent an explicit photo of himself to a Sunday Mirror journalist posing as a young Tory party activist.
Mr Newmark announced he would be standing down as an MP on Saturday, after the Sun on Sunday claimed it had “uncovered new shame” in which he had sent “a series of sex pictures to a second woman”.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Newmark, a married father of five, claimed he has been “battling demons – and losing to them,” and said he will be beginning residential psychiatric treatment over the coming weeks “in the hope that professional help will enable me to salvage my life and family”.
Mr Newmark described himself as the “man who had everything,” but explained that his actions have left his political career is “in ruins”.
“I have traumatised my family and let down my constituents and colleagues.
“Many will regard me as a failure,” he wrote.
The latest scandal, dubbed a “text-and-tell,” involved Mr Newmark sending a series of images of himself apparently doing a strip tease to a woman who did not know he was married with children, the Sun on Sunday claims.
Mr Newmark admitted in the Mail on Sunday that he “craved adrenaline and risk,” and that stress at work drove him to “increasingly erratic behaviour,” including his series of flirtations in response to “approaches from women on social media”.
“Deep inside, I knew I was playing with fire. Now it has consumed me and my family,” he said.
Mr Newmark has appealed to others who are “ashamed” of their mental ill-health to seek help “before it is too late” and said his efforts will now go into “slaying” his own demons.
“I have long argued in Parliament against the stigma which we too often attach to mental illness. But I did not practise what I preached.
“I talked about my anorexia as a teenager, yet I was never brave enough to admit first that I was suffering from depression, or that I was lapsing into episodes of behaviour that any normal person would regard as bizarre and abhorrent.
“I realise now – too late – that I needed treatment,” he wrote in the paper.Reuse content