Cabinet minister expresses sadness over 'massive misjudgement' as party whip resigns over 'drunken incident'

Simon Hart refused to say if Chris Pincher should be thrown out of the Conservative party

Published

A cabinet minister has labelled a "drunken incident" which led to deputy chief whip Chris Pincher resigning from his role as a "clear and massive misjudgement".

The Sun reported that he stood down after allegedly assaulting two fellow guests at the Carlton Club – a Tory Party private members’ club in London’s Piccadilly – on Wednesday evening.

Boris Johnson is under pressure to remove Mr Pincher from the party.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart told GB News it was too early to say if Mr Pincher would have the whip removed but expressed his sadness over the incident.

Simon Hart
Simon Hart

He told Stephen and Anne: "It's early days yet in terms of how the chief whip and others decide to proceed ascertaining precisely what the facts were.

"There's quite a lot of moving parts to this.

"My first reaction is one of sadness sometimes rather than anger because so many people are affected by this clear and massive misjudgement.

"Our first priority is that we look after the interest if people who've been affected by this."

Chris Pincher
Chris Pincher

Labour said the incident showed the Tory Party was “mired in sleaze and scandal” and questioned how Mr Pincher could still be allowed to take the Conservative whip given what had happened.

In May, the Tory MP for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish resigned his Commons seat altogether after he admitted watching pornography in the Commons chamber.

Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan was jailed for 18 months in May for groping a 15-year-old boy in 2008, triggering a by-election in Wakefield which was won by Labour.

Mr Hart added that in spite of these incidents occurring, the majority of MPs were good, hardworking people.

He also told us: "We are all desperate to not have a reputation hanging around us.

"There isn't a workplace in the land that which could say with absolute certainty these sorts of things will never happen."