Neil Parish loses Tory Whip over allegations he watched porn in Parliament

  • An MP has lost the Tory whip after being accused of watching pornography in the House of Commons.
  • Neil Parish is a senior MP, having been first elected in 2010 and sits on the Liaison Committee.
  • Before being named, Parish had discussed the row on GB News, saying any investigation would be “thorough”.

Neil Parish was appointed Conservative MP seen watching pornography in the House of Commons.

The MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Devon, has been suspended from the parliamentary party and is being investigated by the Commons’ Standards Committee.

Parish, first elected in 2010, is a backbencher who chairs the environment committee and sits on the liaison committee, which questions the then prime minister.

Two unnamed Tory MPs earlier this week said they saw a male colleague watching pornography as he sat on the benches in the House of Commons.

Before being identified Senior Tories, including the attorney general, have condemned his actions, while a former cabinet minister has said he should be deported as a ‘minimum’.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Chief Whip Chris Heaton-Harris said: “After speaking to the Chief Whip this afternoon, MP Neil Parish reports to the House of Commons Standards Committee.

“Mr. Parish has been suspended from the Tory Whip pending the outcome of this investigation.”

Parish is writing to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone to refer, the spokesperson later clarified.

Following the referral, the allegation may be investigated by the Independent Complaints and Grievances System. A decision on the findings could be made by Stone. Given the seriousness of the allegation, it is likely that it would then be referred to the independent expert panel.

If the Independent Panel decides to suspend Parish for 10 or more sitting days, the Standards Committee would recommend the same sanction, allowing for a removal petition against Parish.

Earlier this week, before the individual was identified, Parish appeared on GB News and was asked about the allegation.

“I think the whips office will investigate thoroughly and we’ll wait to see the outcome,” he said. “From there, the decision will have to be made on what action to take.”

Parish denied there was a problem with culture in parliament following a number of stories of wrongdoing and misconduct by MPs.

“You’re going to get people to cross the line. I don’t think there’s necessarily a huge culture here, but I think it needs to be dealt with and seriously dealt with. That’s what the whips will do.”

Thangam Debbonaire, Labor’s shadow leader in the Commons, said: ‘The Tories have known for days about the disgusting behavior of one of their MPs and have tried to cover it up… This is a rotting government. at the feet.”

Parish could now face two inquiries: one by fellow MPs on the Standards Committee and a separate inquiry through the Independent Complaints and Grievances System.

But a spokesperson for the standards committee told Insider the committee could only consider a matter referred to it by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone. A direct referral to the standards committee would not be possible, the spokesperson said.

Stone’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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