Boris Johnson is facing calls to exclude former housing minister Chris Pincher from the Conservative party after he dramatically quit as deputy chief whip last night following a drunken incident.
The now former Tory deputy chief whip, who served as housing minister earlier this year, resigned from his latest role last night, stating that he had “embarrassed myself and other people” after having had “far too much” to drink.
According to The Sun, the Tory MP stood down after assaulting two fellow guests at the Carlton Club – a Tory Party private members’ club in London’s Piccadilly – on Wednesday evening.
Although he accepted that he had done wrong, Pincher plans to continue sitting as a Tory MP.
Labour unsurprisingly criticised Pincher’s decision, and called on Johnson to expel him from the party.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “This latest episode shows 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.
“The Conservative Party is so mired in sleaze and scandal that it is totally unable to tackle the challenges facing the British people.”
In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Pincher apologised for his behaviour, saying it had been “the honour of my life” to have served in the Government.
“Last night I drank far too much. I’ve embarrassed myself and other people which is the last thing I want to do and for that I apologise to you and to those concerned,” he said.
“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as deputy chief whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.
“I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from the back benches. It has been the honour of my life to have served in Her Majesty’s government.”
It is the second time he has quit the whips office, having resigned as a junior whip in November 2017 following a complaint that he made an unwanted pass at the former Olympic rower and Conservative candidate Alex Story.
Having referred himself to both the police and the Conservative Party complaints procedure, he was brought back by Theresa May as deputy chief whip in January 2018.
When Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, he was moved to the Foreign Office as minister for Europe and the Americas before becoming housing minister. He later returned to the whips office for a third time.
His departure comes just days after Oliver Dowden quit as party co-chairman in the wake of the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-election losses.