LONDON (ParliamentPolitics Magazine) – After confessing to watching pornography twice in Parliament, Neil Parish has announced his resignation as an MP to the BBC.
Mr Parish, who has been the Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton in Devon since 2010, described it as a “moment of madness.”
He claimed the first time was unintentional after visiting a tractor website, but the second time, in the House of Commons, was intentional.
The Conservative Party suspended him on Friday as a result of the allegations.
While seated near them, two female coworkers claimed they saw him looking at adult content on his phone.
Mr Parish told BBC South West in an exclusive interview the problem was that, coincidentally, he had been looking for tractors.
He had gotten into another website with a very similar name and watched it for a while, which was something he shouldn’t have done, he said.
But his offence – his biggest crime – was that he had gone in again on another occasion.
He stated that the second time was planned and that it occurred as he was waiting to vote in the House of Commons.
Mr. Parish stated his position “I will have to live with this for the rest of my life,” he added. He had made a big blunder, and he was there to tell the world about it.
He was visibly emotional as he announced his resignation after observing the uproar and harm it was inflicting his family, constituency, and local organisation.
He admitted, he was wrong, he was stupid, he had lost the sense of his mind. He denied, however, that he was watching the content in the hopes that it would be seen by others.
He said to the BBC: “I make a full apology. A total full apology. It was not my intention to intimidate.”
Last night, Neil Parish stated that he will continue to serve as an MP while his behaviour was probed. However, under extreme duress, he has reversed his decision.
It would have been impossible for Mr Parish to escape further questioning about his behaviour, and he announced that he would resign because of the impact on his family, constituency, and local party.
The ruling will result in a by-election in a Tory stronghold.
The Liberal Democrats received 60% of the vote in the last election, but they are already predicting a rural backlash identical to North Shropshire.
It’s also important to consider the big picture in this case. This week, claims of a sexist culture have shaken Westminster.
This story, along with others, has tarnished Parliament’s image.
They’ve harmed the Conservative Party as well. Both will be hopeful that Mr Parish’s resignation will allow them to begin the process of moving on.
Many people, though, will desire a far more comprehensive look at the Commons’ culture.