Chris Pincher, former conservative MP for Tamworth, has resigned his seat from Parliament after losing his appeal over sexual misconduct allegations. This has created a vacant seat, triggering another by-election.
Mr Pincher lost his appeal on Monday against a proposed suspension of 8 weeks from the House of Commons (put forth by the UK Commons Standards Committee), for groping two men whilst intoxicated at London's Carlton Club. Mr Pincher previously denied these allegations of multiple accounts.
Parliament's standards commissioner Daniel Greenberg found Mr Pincher groped a then-employee of the House of Lords on his arm and neck, before groping his bottom. He also found he groped a civil servant's bottom and then his testicles.
Mr Pincher held his seat since 2010, and confidently won a 19,634 vote majority at the last general election, therefore this news is widely disappointing to the public.
Mr Pincher’s "abuse of power" contributed to the scandal of Boris Johnson’s deposition.
The Government have found his behaviour "completely inappropriate" and it has led his associates to advise him to resign. To "help the prime minister" by holding the by-election on the same day as the Mid-Bedfordshire poll, notable Tories prompted him to quit parliament.
On Thursday, Pincher commented: "I do not want my constituents to be put to further uncertainty, and so in consequence I have made arrangements to resign and leave the Commons. Tamworth is a wonderful place and it has been an honour to represent its people. I shall make no further comment at this time.”
A by-election is an election for a political constituency to fill a vacant seat during a government's term of office. Until the election, an MP of the same party in a neighbouring constituency manages constituency matters.
Since Rishi Sunak became prime minister, this will be the 9th by-election, a strong inconvenient to the government.
Mr Sunak has outlined that "mid-term by-elections are always difficult for incumbent governments and these will be no different, but we're going to keep working hard to deliver for the British people."
The date for the by-election is expected to take place on 5 October.
Edited by: Anwen Venn
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