24 October 2022

Chris Pincher under investigation by parliamentary watchdog

24 October 2022

The former deputy chief whip at the centre of the controversy that led to Boris Johnson’s fall from office is under investigation by a parliamentary watchdog.

Chris Pincher, who dramatically quit his Government role on June 30 after allegedly assaulting two fellow guests at the exclusive Carlton Club in London the evening before, is under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Kathryn Stone opened the investigation on October 20, citing “actions causing significant damage to the reputation of the House as a whole, or of its Members generally”.

Mr Pincher was the Tory MP for Tamworth in Staffordshire but now sits as an independent in the Commons after the Conservative whip was removed after a formal complaint was made to the parliamentary watchdog that examines allegations of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct.

The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) reportedly dropped the complaint because the alleged incident did not occur on the Parliamentary estate.

Ms Stone, the commissioner for standards in Parliament, is responsible for alleged breaches of the Commons code of conduct.

The row over the allegations against Mr Pincher ultimately sparked a row that helped end Mr Johnson’s premiership, after his handling of the scandal unleashed a wave of pent-up frustration with his leadership, already damaged by lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street and by-election defeats.

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