Chris pincher

Chris Pincher’s suspension spells more trouble for Rishi Sunak

14 min listen

A year on from allegations that Chris Pincher groped two young men at the Carlton Club (allegations that ultimately triggered the downfall of Boris Johnson), Parliament’s standards watchdog has now found that Pincher brought the House into disrepute and recommended an eight-week suspension. On the podcast, Isabel Hardman says that this makes a by-election in his constituency of Tamworth a question of when, not if. But even worse for the Conservative party, their newly-selected candidate in that constituency is the current MP of another constituency. Cindy Yu talks to Isabel and Katy Balls about the mess that CCHQ finds itself in now. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Portrait of the week: Boris on the brink, petrol price protests and a £3,000 swear word

Home Rishi Sunak resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sajid Javid as Health Secretary. (Nadhim Zahawi accepted the post of Chancellor and Steve Barclay, the PM’s chief of staff, Health Secretary.) The resignations came five days after Chris Pincher, aged 52, the MP for Tamworth, resigned as deputy chief whip the morning after he ‘drank far too much’ at the Carlton Club where he was alleged to have groped two men. Then began questions of what Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, knew and when. Mr Pincher had the whip removed as a member of the parliamentary Conservative party, and said: ‘I will benefit from professional medical support.’ He had

‘Pinch’ has long packed a punch

Before pinch as a verb appears in any written sources, it already formed part of surnames. Hugo Pinch was walking, breathing and possibly pinching in 1190, and in 1220 in Oxfordshire Ralph Pinchehaste was repenting at leisure. When William Golding wrote the painful Pincher Martin, he knew that any sailor called Martin was nicknamed Pincher. A likely eponym is Admiral Sir William Martin, 4th baronet (1801-95), who headed a drive for discipline. In his biographer’s judgment, ‘his insistence on obedience was not always agreeable to captains and commanders, but if not loved, he was feared, and the work was done’. It seems to me that pinching was highly Victorian. Dickens,

Matthew Parris

The truth about life as a gay Tory MP

Male Tory MPs molesting young men? Buttock-squeezing and groin-fumbling at a private members’ club? A middle-aged politician slipping into a dressing-gown ‘like a pound shop Harvey Weinstein, with his chest and belly hanging out’ to massage the neck of an Olympic rower? Such are the allegations. ‘What,’ you may think, ‘is the world coming to? It was never like this in my day!’ How wrong you’d be. It was very much like this in the 20th century. There is in fact something tragically old-fashioned about the whole story. This is how it used to be for many when I was an MP, and there were dozens of other gay Tories

Boris ‘forgot’ about Pincher allegations, claims minister

The government’s line yesterday on what Boris Johnson knew about Chris Pincher’s behaviour kept changing. Today, it’s quite hard to find anything that could reasonably be described as a ‘line’. More of a messy scribble. After Simon McDonald’s explosive intervention this morning, the ‘line’ had to change from Boris Johnson not being informed of any specific complaints, because now there was a report of an official complaint which McDonald alleges the Prime Minister was indeed briefed on. So what did it change to? As ever in these circumstances, Michael Ellis, the minister for defending the indefensible and holding lines even as they change, made his way into the chamber to answer

Tory staffers’ fury over Pincher

Another glorious day for our great democracy. Chris Pincher’s resignation has unleashed a deluge of anger, despair and frustration in the Tory WhatsApp groups today. One backbencher texted Mr S to remark darkly of Dowden and Pincher that ‘at least they’re freeing up jobs for the reshuffle.’ Another asks ‘How on earth was he put in the Whips’ Office in charge of MPs’ welfare?’ The mood among their staff is little better too, as shown by the liberal use of the phrase ‘shit-show’ in current conversation. Now, though, some are standing up and demanding change. Five weeks ago, several parliamentary assistants came together to launch the ‘Conservative staffers for change.’


Neil Parish attacks Chris Pincher

The Tories are in crisis, standards are in peril. So who do you turn to for ethical advice? Step forward Neil Parish, the tractor-loving, porn-perusing former MP for Tiverton. Parish, whose constituency is now, er, represented by a Liberal Democrat thanks to his resignation, was asked for his views this afternoon on Christopher Pincher. Barely concealing his resentment, Parish piled in on the former deputy chief whip who, incidentally, was part of the team which took the decision to suspend him from the Tories in April. Asked if the whip should now be removed Pincher too, Parish replied: Definitely from Christopher Pincher. The first thing they did to me, and