PM accused of 'turning blind eye to Chris Pincher warnings' as more allegations emerge

2 July 2022, 23:12 | Updated: 3 July 2022, 09:03

Boris Johnson is accused of ignoring warnings about appointing Chris Pincher
Boris Johnson is accused of ignoring warnings about appointing Chris Pincher. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The Prime Minister has been accused of deliberately ignoring warnings about his former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, as fresh allegations against the MP emerged.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Mr Pincher resigned from his post and had the Tory whip withdrawn after allegations he 'groped' two men after drinking "far too much" at a Tory private members club.

The Telegraph reports Boris Johnson was warned about previous allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr Pincher prior to his appointment.

The paper says he turned a blind eye to the claims - and even lost another whip over it, with Craig Whittaker now said to have resigned in protest at Mr Pincher's appointment.

Read more: Tory MP Chris Pincher seeking 'professional medical support' after 'groping' allegations

Read more: James O'Brien reacts as MP's career hangs in balance amid groping claims

Mr Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip on Thursday.

In his resignation letter he said he had "embarrassed myself and other people" after drinking "far too much".

Whilst the letter made no direct reference to allegations levelled against him, The Sun reported Mr Pincher had been accused of groping two men.

Since then other allegations have been made.

The Times reported a young Tory activist said he had received an unwanted sexual advance from Mr Pincher last year.

And on Saturday night the Independent said an anonymous Tory MP had claimed to have been groped twice by the former deputy chief whip.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey insisted Mr Johnson was "not aware of specific claims" about Mr Pincher before making him Tory deputy chief whip.

She said on Sky this morning: "I am aware that the Prime Minister was not aware of specific claims that had been made."

Independent economics editor says it's 'difficult' to be an LGBTQ+ MP

Mr Johnson is now facing tough questions over what he had been told prior to appointing Mr Pincher.

Dominic Cummings accused him of "lying again" and said the Prime Minister referred to the MP "laughingly in No 10 as 'Pincher by name, pincher by nature' long before appointing him".

Read more: 'Double standards!': Neil Parish slams govt for not withdrawing whip from Chris Pincher

Read more: PM faces backlash for delay suspending MP over 'disturbing groping' allegations

But a No 10 spokesman said the Prime Minister had not been made aware of anything that would have prevented the appointment going ahead.

When Mr Johnson came under fire on Friday for not immediately withdrawing the whip from Mr Pincher, the spokesperson said: "In the absence of any formal complaints, it was not appropriate to stop an appointment on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations."

'So they're getting off on it?'

Whilst Mr Pincher quit his post as deputy chief whip and was suspended from the Tory party, he remains an MP.

On Saturday he said he was "truly sorry for the upset I caused" and said he was seeking "professional medical support".

"I respect the Prime Minister's decision to suspend the whip whilst an inquiry is underway, and I will cooperate fully with it," he said.

Read more: Tory whip quits post saying he 'drank too much' amid 'groping' allegations

Read more: 'Mafia-like' loyalty and a toxic 'power' culture: Ben Kentish's inside view on Westminster

"As I told the Prime Minister, I drank far too much on Wednesday night, embarrassing myself and others and I am truly sorry for the upset I caused.

"The stresses of the last few days, coming on top of those over the last several months, have made me accept that I will benefit from professional medical support.

"I am in the process of seeking that now, and I hope to be able to return to my constituency duties as soon as possible."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Council to hold 'urgent review of 'family matter' after rioters wreak havoc in Leeds on night of 'shocking' carnage

Brendan Cole slaps his partner Fiona Hill's bottom three times

Strictly pro dancer slaps female partner's bottom three times in freshly surfaced footage, after two dancers leave show

Trump gunman researched Royal family member during planning for assassination attempt

Donald Trump gunman 'scoped out Kate Middleton and had pictures of her on his phone' before failed murder attempt

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Misery for holidaymakers as 4,000 flights grounded by IT outage that sparked chaos, and recovery 'could cost billions'

Christina Sandera and Clint Eastwood in 2018

Clint Eastwood's partner Christina Sandera dies aged 61, as 94-year-old Hollywood icon gives poignant tribute

Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is unlawful, the International Court of Justice has ruled

Top UN court rules Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories 'unlawful', as Netanyahu slams 'false decision'

Over 4,000 flights have been delayed or cancelled today.

Has your flight been affected by the global IT outage? Can you claim compensation?

Friday was the hottest day of the year so far - but the mini heatwave will end soon

Exact date mini-heatwave to end, as Friday becomes hottest day of the year so far with temperature close to 32C

Ben Ross has been missing since July 10

Mum of missing Brit Ben Ross to fly to Majorca for desperate search as police issue statement

Shaikha Makhra announced her split on Instagram

Dubai princess announces divorce from husband via Instagram 'as he is occupied with other companions'

Thousands of flights where cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Worldwide IT outage could last 'days' as flights grounded, shops closed and operations cancelled