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Tories mired in sleaze as Pincher scandal deepens

SIX new claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Tory former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher have emerged just days after he was suspended as a Tory MP.

The stream of fresh allegations stretch back over several years.

New accusations emerged against the Tamworth MP even as Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey did the Sunday interview circuit claiming PM Boris Johnson had been unaware “of specific claims that had been made,” before appointing Mr Pincher as deputy chief whip.

Ms Coffey conceded on BBC’s Sunday Morning programme that she had not spoken to the Prime Minister on the matter but she had received assurances from “somebody from the No 10 press office.”

But former No 10 adviser Dominic Cummings alleged that Mr Johnson had referred to the MP as “Pincher by name, pincher by nature” long before appointing him in February, a claim that Downing Street has yet to deny.

After quitting over drunkenly groping two men at a private members’ club in London last week, Mr Pincher said he was seeking “professional medical support.”

But after his resignation, it took another 24 hours before Mr Pincher was suspended from the Tory whip.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the Prime Minister had been “dragged kicking and screaming into taking action” over the scandal.

Mr Pincher previously resigned from the whips’ office in 2017 after a complaint he had made an unwanted pass at former Olympic rower and Tory candidate Alex Story.

Mr Story alleged the MP untucked the back of his shirt, massaged his neck and whispered: “You’ll go far in the Tory Party.”

Meanwhile in fresh allegations this weekend, the Sunday Times reported Mr Pincher had placed his hand on the inner leg of a male Tory MP in a bar in Parliament in 2017.

The newspaper also reported Mr Pincher made unwanted advances towards a different male Tory MP in 2018 while in his parliamentary office, and towards a Tory activist in Tamworth around July 2019.

The Mail on Sunday carried allegations he had made advances against an individual a decade ago, and that a female Tory staffer had tried to prevent his advances towards a young man at a Tory Party conference.

The Independent reported that an unnamed male Tory MP alleged Mr Pincher groped him on two separate occasions in December 2021 and June this year.

In another particularly damning revelation, the Sunday Times reported that the MP involved in the alleged incident in 2018 contacted No 10 before Mr Pincher was made a whip in February, passing on details of what he said had happened to him and voicing his concerns about him being appointed to the role.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “It’s clear from what we know this morning that Chris Pincher should never have been put back into the whips’ office.”

One of the latest accusers said he initially did not want to report the incident at the exclusive Carlton Club on Wednesday, thinking: “This is something that happens in Westminster.”

Mr Pincher has denied the latest claims.

Reports also emerged yesterday that Craig Whittaker, who resigned as a whip during the reshuffle for “personal reasons,” raised concerns about Mr Pincher’s appointment.

The new allegations are the latest in a series of scandals relating to sexual misconduct to hit the Tory Party, leading to humiliating defeats in by-elections in Wakefield and in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency.

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