The troubles continue to mount for the embattled British prime minister Boris Johnson after the Conservative deputy chief whip was forced to resign over sexual misconduct.
In the letter to Boris Johnson on Thursday, Christopher Pincher admitted he had “embarrassed myself and other people” after reports that he drunkenly groped two men at a private club.
The Conservative MP said he was stepping down from his post due to excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and sexual misconduct, though he did not react to allegations that he was reported to the whips by Conservative MPs who witnessed his behavior.
It is the latest in a series of scandals that have plagued Johnson's party in recent months. It is also the second time that Pincher has resigned from the whips’ office after allegations against him, raising questions about Johnson’s decision in promoting him to a role in charge of MP discipline and pastoral affairs.
The British premier now faces a fresh challenge to find a successor after the chairman of the Conservatives quit last month following the party's loss in two by-elections.
In his resignation letter, Pincher said quitting was "the right thing to do in the circumstances".
"I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from the back benches," he added.
The main opposition Labour party said the episode showed "how far standards in public life have been degraded on Boris Johnson's watch".
"Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer about why Chris Pincher was given this role in the first place and how he can remain a Conservative MP," Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said.
"The Conservative Party is so mired in sleaze and scandal that it is totally unable to tackle the challenges facing the British people," she added.
In the wake of a series of scandals by Boris Johnson and his party representatives, calls have grown for the resignation of the prime minister himself. However, Johnson has so far refused to resign.
He became the first sitting British prime minister to be fined for breaking the law over a birthday gathering at his office in June 2020.
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