Neil Parish tractor excuse sparks speculation on how he ended up on porn site

CornHub trended online yesterday after the MP confirmed he would resign

Published

Tory MP Neil Parish caused alarm to two colleagues who witnessed him watching pornography on his mobile phone – actions that ultimately cost the long-standing parliamentarian his political career.

Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish and his 4-year-old Labrador Wilberforce, the winner of the Westminster Dog of the Year competition pictured at Victoria Tower Gardens in London.
Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish and his 4-year-old Labrador Wilberforce, the winner of the Westminster Dog of the Year competition pictured at Victoria Tower Gardens in London.

But his explanation that a search for tractors led to the first supposedly accidental viewing has prompted puzzlement about how he went from farm machinery to adult material.

One friend, a councillor in Devon, has shared an unconfirmed working theory among allies over how Mr Parish, a farmer by trade, ended up on a website with “a very similar name”.

Colin Slade said he heard from friends of the MP for Tiverton and Honiton that he was looking for “a brand of tractor named Dominator”, adding: “You can easily see where that would go.”

Farmers will point out that the Claas Dominator is in fact a combine harvester, which does not tally with Mr Parish’s confession.

Mr Slade, a deputy chairman of the Tiverton and Honiton Conservative Association, backed the explanation of the outgoing MP, who he considers a good friend, saying: “I believe it to be true.”

The 65-year-old had fought to stay on as MP after it emerged he was the subject of the complaint but on Saturday recognised the “furore” he caused and said he would resign.

In an interview with BBC South West, he said: “The situation was, funnily enough it was tractors I was looking at, so I did get into another website with sort of a very similar name and I watched it for a bit, which I shouldn’t have done.

“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.”