A UK lawmaker from the ruling Conservative Party has resigned after admitting to watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons bedroom.
Neil Parish, a Member of Parliament since 2010, announced his decision on Saturday after pressure from members of his own party who sought to defuse sleaze allegations before Britain holds its local elections on May 5.
The poll is seen as crucial for Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is already facing a backlash from voters against parties breaking the lockdown on government offices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parish, 65, quit after what he described as a “crazy” moment. Parish, chairman of the House Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said he was trying to check out a tractor website but came across a porn site with a name similar and looked at it “a little”.
“My biggest crime is that on another occasion I went there a second time,” he told the BBC. “And it was deliberate.”
‘Enough is enough’
Reports that a lawmaker had watched pornography amid the historic green benches of the House of Commons sparked a flood of complaints from women in Parliament about the misogyny and sexual harassment they faced while performing their jobs. functions.
Long known for its boozy and macho culture, Parliament is now a more diverse place, with women holding nearly 40% of seats in the House of Commons. But lawmakers and staff say harassment and inappropriate behavior are still rampant in a system that largely allows members to police themselves.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Parish’s resignation should be a moment for people across the UK to say “enough is enough”.
‘I don’t think there can really be any other way out of what has been revealed about this particular MP in recent days,’ she said while campaigning in Fife, Scotland. “Watching pornography on a mobile phone in the House of Commons while you are there to represent constituents is simply unacceptable.”
Parish dismissed the idea that he wanted to bully anyone.
“Despite all my rights and wrongs, I wasn’t proud of what I was doing,” he said. “And the one thing that I wasn’t doing, and that I’ll take to my grave as true, is I wasn’t making sure people could see it. In fact, I was trying to do everything opposite.”
The scandal comes at a precarious time for Johnson, who will face pressure to step down if the Tories do poorly in local elections.