Boris Johnson ‘suspended Chris Pincher after hearing account of allegations from Tory MP’

The former deputy chief whip resigned on Thursday saying he had embarassed himself

<p>Boris Johnson had a call with a Tory MP which allegedly pushed him to suspend Chris Pincher </p>

Boris Johnson had a call with a Tory MP which allegedly pushed him to suspend Chris Pincher

Boris Johnson suspended Chris Pincher after he heard a “disturbing” account of the allegations against him from a Tory MP who witnessed the incident, it has been reported.

The prime minister initially resisted the call to suspend Mr Pincher but bowed to pressure after a complaint about the MP was made to a parliamentary watchdog for sexual misconduct.

A Downing Street source said Mr Johnson changed his mind after speaking to a Tory MP who witnessed the incident and was in contact with the alleged victim.

“The account given was sufficiently disturbing to make the PM feel more troubled by all this,” the source told the PA news agency.

Mr Pincher resigned on Thursday night after the groping claims came to light. He said he had drunk too much and “embarrassed himself” at the Conservative Party’s private members’ club the night before.

A separate claim surfaced on Friday from a young Conservative activist who claimed to have been subjected to an unwanted sexual advance from Mr Pincher last year.

The activist told The Times the MP put his hand on his knee and told him he would “go far in the party” at an event during the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Pincher on Downing Street in February

“It is shocking he was anywhere near the whips’ office,” he was quoted as saying.

Mr Pincher’s lawyers denied the allegation.

One Tory MP who was present at the Carlton Club on Friday night told The Telegraph that they “threw out” a “very drunk” Mr Pincher after being made aware of a groping allegation.

“I was made aware of the first situation, and I took him outside and told him to leave, because he was too drunk,” the MP said. “I was told he had been inappropriate with someone, and apparently he had run his hands down him.”

Mr Pincher resigned saying he had ‘embarassed himself’

The prime minister accepted Mr Pincher’s resignation as deputy chief whip on Thursday, having approved his appointment in February despite earlier allegations of misconduct against the MP.

Mr Pincher previously resigned as a whip in 2017 after being accused of inappropriate behaviour by an Olympic swimmer and former Conservative candidate. He was cleared by an internal investigation and returned to government two months later.

Downing Street admitted it was aware of the earlier claim against Mr Pincher but insisted the prime minister had no reason to block his appointment.

Mr Pincher was moved from his role as a housing minister to the whips office in the prime minister’s February reshuffle. In January he was part of a “save Boris” operation launched in response to anger over the Partygate scandal, which broke the month before.

The former deputy chief whip was the fifth Tory MP to have been forced to quit, had the whip removed or been ordered to stay away from parliament over sexual misconduct allegations this year.

Neil Parish, the former Tiverton and Honiton MP who resigned after admitting to watching pornography in the House of Commons chamber, lamented his treatment by the party compared with Mr Pincher’s. He suggested Mr Pincher was protected by his proximity to the prime minister.

Mr Pincher is under investigation by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, a parliamentary body that reviews complaints of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct.

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