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British lawmaker suspended for ‘watching porn’ in parliament

Britain’s ruling Conservative party on Friday suspended one of its MPs pending an investigation into claims he watched pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons chamber.

The identification of MP Neil Parish, 65, ends days of speculation since the allegation emerged on Tuesday, amid accusations of a misogynistic environment in parliament.

“Having spoken to the Chief Whip this afternoon, Neil Parish MP is reporting himself to the Standards Committee of the House of Commons,” said a spokeswoman for Chief Whip Chris Heaton-Harris, who is in charge of party discipline.

“Mr Parish has been suspended from the Conservative whip pending the outcome of that investigation,” she said, meaning he has been temporarily suspended from the party.

Parish, a farmer who chairs the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, was questioned about the porn allegation on Wednesday before he had been publicly identified.

“I think the whips office will do a thorough investigation and we will wait and see that result and I think from that then the decision will have to be made what action will be taken,” Parish told GB News.

He then denied there was a large cultural problem in parliament.

“We’ve got some 650 members of parliament in what is a very intense area,” Parish said.

“We are going to get people that step over the line. I don’t think there’s necessarily a huge culture here but I think it does have to be dealt with and dealt with seriously and that’s what the whips will do.”

At least 56 MPs, including three ministers, are currently being probed over allegations of sexual misconduct by parliament’s own complaints office.

The Conservative party has been accused of misogyny after the Mail on Sunday last week quoted unnamed Tory MPs accusing the deputy leader of the opposition Labour party, Angela Rayner, of trying to distract Prime Minister Boris Johnson with her legs.

AFP

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