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Neil Parish ‘set to quit’ as Tory MP after viewing porn in Commons

Neil Parish ‘set to quit’ as Tory MP after viewing porn in Commons
Supended Tory MP previously said he would stay on in parliament until the conclusion of an inquiry into the incident

Conservative Neil Parish is expected to announce today that he is resigning as an MP after being accused of watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons chamber.

A party source told the PA news agency that the Tiverton and Honiton MP was likely to make his decision clear by the end of Saturday.

Mr Parish had the Conservative whip suspended on Friday after referring himself to the Commons standards commissioner for investigation of complaints made by two female Tory MPs to chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris 星期二.

The 65-year-old initially insisted he would continue to represent his east Devon constituency in Westminster, and remain as chair of the Commons Environment Committee, until Kathryn Stone’s inquiry is concludeda process which could take months.

But he was coming under increasing pressure from fellow-MPs who said that if he had viewed adult material in the Commons chamber he should go immediately.

There is concern in Tory high command over the damage which could be done to the party’s reputation in the crucial days before local elections taking place across Britain on Thursday.

Caroline Dinenage, a Conservative member of the Commons women and equalities committee, said Parish should go, 说: “I cannot see how his position is sustainable.”

And the committee’s chair, Caroline Nokes, said she was disappointed at the delay before he was suspended from the party.

“I fully expected to wake up on the Wednesday morning and find that a Member of Parliament had the whip suspended,” she told BBC Radio 4’s 今天 程序.

“I was very disappointed when there wasn’t immediate action by the chief whip to do that. I think it was important, not least because a cloud was hanging over other colleagues’ heads because nobody knew the identity.

“And to be frank, as a female parliamentarian, I wanted reassurance from the whips that they were going to take this seriously and act.”

Labour has accused Conservative party whips of a “shameful” delay in taking action over the allegations against Mr Parish.

Labour frontbencher Bridget Phillipson told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “What we’ve seen is absolutely shocking. And really, there can be no place for that in parliament or any workplace.

“It shouldn’t have taken days for him to be referred to the process. That doesn’t necessarily involve him being named, but it was clear no action had been taken.

“For some days Conservative whips knew exactly who he was. And at the same time, 当然, people in the House of Commonsand that’s not just MPs, thousands of people work therewould be concerned about what that would mean.

“This isn’t just a case about MPs. It’s a workplace for many people and they’ve got every right to feel safe when they are at work. That’s why it’s shameful it’s taken so long for action to happen.”