Chris Pincher: PM ally who campaigned to ‘save Boris’

MP has resigned as a whip for the second time in five years

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

“Pincher by name, pincher by nature,” one Tory MP said of the former deputy chief whip forced to resign amid allegations he groped two men at a private members’ club.

The prime minister is now facing claims that Downing Street was warned about Chris Pincher even before he was given his latest government job in February’s reshuffle.

Especially as last night was not the first time the MP has been forced to resign from the whips’ office.

That was in 2017, when he faced accusations, which he denied, from a former Olympic swimmer and Conservative candidate.

But in times of crisis all prime ministers need allies.

In January, Mr Pincher was part of a “save Boris” operation mounted in the wake of anger over the Partygate scandal, which had broken the previous month.

In meetings with MPs he reportedly warned them that ousting the prime minister risked their own jobs, because a replacement would have to call a snap general election to get a mandate from voters.

After his 2017 resignation, he was cleared of breaching his party’s code of conduct over the allegations.

He later served in different roles in government, including as housing minister.

Outside parliament, Mr Pincher, who said in his resignation letter that he had drunk too much alcohol, writes a column about wine for The Critic magazine.

A Brexiteer, he was first elected to his Tamworth seat in 2010, taking it from Labour and steadily increasing his share of the vote ever since. He currently has a majority of 19,634, what should be a Tory safe seat. But No 10 will be keenly aware that it lost a by-election in a seat with a much larger majority just a week ago, in a result that led, once again, to a renewed push for Mr Johnson to leave Downing Street.

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