Amidst the crazy saga of the British PM’s slow-motion departure from 10 Downing Street, a young gay man at the centre of the incident that finally brought down Boris Johnson says he’s furious and shellshocked. Former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher allegedly groped two men at London’s Carlton Club last week.
Pincher scandal proves one too many
The Pincher scandal is just the latest to hit Boris Johnson‘s Conservative Party this year. The government previously lost four MPs over allegations of sexual misconduct including one observed perusing porn on his phone in parliament. Neil Parish later claimed he came across the porn while searching for tractors. Police are investigating another MP over a rape allegation.
On June 30, Chris Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip. At the time, spokespersons for Boris Johnson denied the PM knew about complaints of sexual assaults by Pincher before appointing him to the role. However, a former senior public servant came forward to say Johnson was briefed ‘in person’ about Pincher in 2019.
Pincher previously resigned as an assistant whip in 2017 after a former Olympic rower accused him of sexual assault. A Labour MP made similar complaints around the same time.
The furore following the Carleton Club incident saw Johnson finally resign after surviving numerous other scandals. Since then, other men came forward with allegations of past sexual assaults committed by Pincher.
Grabbed my arse
One of the men allegedly groped by Pincher at the Carleton Club spoke to The Times about the incident.
The man said it was the first time he’d met Pincher.
“There was nothing untoward at that time.
“[Pincher] then went and bought a round of drinks, at least five or six drinks, and then came back. There was then a very brief conversation about an aspect of my work.
“I had my drink in my hand and then he then went down and grabbed my arse and then slowly … moved his hand down the front of my groin. I froze a little bit and it ended after about two or three seconds. It was a very bizarre thing.”
The man approached Sarah Dines, a conservative junior whip, who witnessed the alleged assault to complain. However, Dines asked if he was gay and implied that changed things.
“I was a bit taken aback by that and said, ‘What’s that got to do with it? But yes, I am’. And her words were, ‘Well, that doesn’t make it straightforward’. She saw everything, which is why I am so angry.”
Dines did nonetheless report the incident and Pincher subsequently resigned.
Followed days after by Boris Johnson.
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