Disgraced ex Tory MP Neil Parish says ‘police confiscated his guns in case he shot himself’

Neil Parish claimed he was ‘left to drown’ after he admitted watching pornography in the House of Commons

<p>Neil Parish was forced to resign after watching pornography </p>

Neil Parish was forced to resign after watching pornography

Former Tory MP Neil Parish has claimed police took away his shotguns ‘for his own safety’ after he was forced to resign in disgrace.

Mr Parish, who previously represented Tiverton and Honiton, admitted in April he had watched pornography on his phone in Parliament in what he described as a “moment of madness”.

He initially claimed he was ‘looking for tractors’ online when he found the illicit material and later admitted to accessing the adult material deliberately.

When Mr Parish eventually quit as an MP on April 30, he triggered a by-election that was won by the Liberal Democrats on June 23.

Sir Ed Davey (right) celebrates with Richard Foord, the newly-elected Liberal Democrat MP who replaced Mr Parish after the Tiverton by-election

Speaking to LBC’s Swarbrick On Sunday about the aftermath of the scandal, he said: “The police very kindly and rightly took away - because I am a farmer you see I’ve got shotguns - so they took those away from me.”

When asked why, he replied: “Because when you have blown up your parliamentary career for 12 years, you are not feeling in the best place, and they took them away for my own safety, not that I was going to shoot anybody else, in case I shot myself.

“I did say to them in a moment of black humour, ‘I am a very bad shot, I will probably miss’, but they didn’t naturally see the joke at the time, or nor was it very funny.”

Mr Parish claimed he received a number of death threats following the scandal and complained of constant cameras outside his house.

“It’s not easy,” he said, “And when you go to the chief whip and ask for help, you expect it. You are thrown over the side of a ship, and then you are left to drown.

“And that’s how it works and fine, but I saw Mark Spencer on the podcast, Telegraph podcast, saying how caring they all were. I need to put it out on record, they are not.

“Mark, actually, was much better than the present chief whip, Chris Heaton-Harris, but you know, this idea that they are all there, caring for us is nonsense.”

Mr Parish went on to claim he was ‘probably done in’ by some of his colleagues.

Mr Parish quit in April, after a complaint by a fellow MP

“I think probably I was,”he said. “Now, I was wrong to be watching it: it was very immoral, it wasn’t illegal, it was immoral, and I shouldn’t have been doing it.

“I was right in the corner of the House of Commons as you go into the lobby to vote, so this idea I think people have got that I was right in the middle of the House of Commons flaunting it is absolutely wrong.

“I wasn’t proud of what I was doing and it was very wrong I was doing it. But I didn’t spend any time in the last 12 years, shall I say, splitting on fellow members.

“I asked to be able to apologise if I caused offence, I was not given that opportunity by the chief whip and I was thrown to the press wolves.

“Have you had three days of the paparazzi outside of your house shouting abuse at you? It is enough to frighten anybody, and I don’t frighten easily.”

Devon and Cornwall Police have been approached for comment.

Additional reporting by PA

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