'Honeytrap' MP William Wragg Gives Up The Tory Whip

He gave colleagues' phone numbers to a stranger he met on a dating app.
William Wragg
William Wragg
NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Tory MP at the centre of the Westminster honeytrap spear-phishing scandal has voluntarily given up the Tory whip.

William Wragg’s decision came a day after he resigned as a vice-chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, as well as chairman of the Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee.

The 36-year-old last week admitted giving the phone numbers of other MPs to a person he met on the dating app Grindr.

Wragg said he had been “weak” after becoming concerned that the man had “compromising” material on him.

A statement from the Tory whips office tonight said: “Following Will Wragg’s decision to step back from his roles on the public accounts and 1922 committees, he has also notified the chief whip that he is voluntarily relinquishing the Conservative whip.”

Senior Tories initially stood by Wragg after the scandal broke, with chancellor Jeremy Hunt praising him for making a “courageous and fulsome apology”.

But several Tory MPs have since broken ranks to tell of their anger at Wragg’s behaviour.

Andrea Jenkyns branded Wragg an “idiot” for “compromising security”, while Conor Burns said he was “reckless, selfish and thoughtless”.

Pat McFadden, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator, said: “The fact it was left to William Wragg to resign is another indictment of Rishi Sunak’s weakness.

“His MPs were left yet again being sent out to defend a position that has collapsed.

“Rishi Sunak puts party management first every time - and he can’t even do that properly. It is no way to run a country.

“Britain deserves so much better than this endless Tory chaos.”

Wragg, who is standing down at the next election, told The Times last week: “I got chatting to a guy on an app and we exchanged pictures. We were meant to meet up for drinks, but then didn’t. Then he started asking for numbers of people. I was worried because he had stuff on me. He gave me a WhatsApp number, which doesn’t work now.

“I’ve hurt people by being weak. I was scared. I’m mortified. I’m so sorry that my weakness has caused other people hurt.”

Those targeted by the phishing attack were sent unsolicited messages on WhatsApp from senders identifying themselves as “Charlie” or “Abi”.

Police and parliamentary authorities have also launched investigations into the scandal.


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