Tory MP Who Watched Porn In Commons Formally Resigns His Seat

Neil Parish said he initially stumbled upon adult material after searching for tractors online.
Neil Parish in the House of Commons
Neil Parish in the House of Commons
UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor via PA Media

An MP who admitted watching porn in the House of Commons has formally quit his seat.

Neil Parish’s resignation came just 24 hours after his former Tory colleague, Imran Ahmad Khan, stood down in the wake of his conviction for sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

Parish, who had been the MP for Tiverton and Honiton since 2010, lost the Tory whip last Friday but had initially said he intended to remain as an MP while the allegations against him were investigated.

But he announced he would be standing down the following day after admitting watching adult material in parliament, claiming the first time was accidental as he searched for tractors online.

It means a by-election will be held in his seat - which Parish retained for the Tories at the last election with a majority of 24,239 - later this year.

Under arcane parliamentary rules, MPs cannot directly resign their seat during a parliament and so have to apply for a paid office of the Crown.

As a result, the Treasury today announced that Parish has been appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.

Speaking to the BBC on Saturday, the 65-year-old former farmer 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.”

In a statement, his local Conservative association in Tiverton and Honiton, Devon, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Neil Parish for his service to our communities over the past 12 years.

“We support his decision to step down as our Member of Parliament.”


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