A member of the UK parliament for the Conservative Party on Saturday resigned after having viewed explicit videos in the parliament.
Neil Parish had viewed the explicit content twice in the House of Commons, and after having been caught by two female MPs, referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
“I thought I could explain to the standards committee what happened and it would be worth explaining what happened. But in the end I could see that the furore and the damage I was causing my family and my constituency and association, just wasn’t worth carrying on,” Parish said in an interview with the BBC.
“The situation was that, I, funnily enough, thought it was tractors that I was looking at, and so I did get into another website sort of a very similar name and I watched it for a bit, which I shouldn’t have done. But my crime, my most biggest crime, is that on another occasion I went in a second time, and that was deliberate. That was sitting waiting to vote on the side of the chamber,” he added.
The 65-year-old farmer and former MEP had represented Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, South West England. He was also the chair of the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, and sat on the influential Liaison Committee.
Accusations of Parish’s misconduct first surfaced on Tuesday during a meeting among women Tory MPs. However, it took three days for Parish to be identified and suspended from the party whip.
Parish’s actions reflect the wider and growing scandal of sexual abuse and misconduct that was revealed earlier this week in which some male MPs, including Cabinet ministers, have been referred to a sexual abuse watchdog.
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