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'Pound shop Harvey Weinstein': Allegations against MP Chris Pincher go back 21 years

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Allegations that the MP Chris Pincher groped two men last week have caused turmoil within the government.

And these are not the first claims about inappropriate behaviour by the MP for Tamworth, who has been suspended from the Conservative Party but remains an independent.

Explosive letter from ex-civil servant contradicts No 10 on Pincher – Politics Hub live

What are the new allegations?

The MP resigned as deputy chief whip last week after claims he groped two men at the Carlton Club in central London on the evening of 29 June.

In his letter to the prime minister, Mr Pincher, who has been an MP since 2010, said he had “drunk far too much” and apologised for “embarrassing myself and others”.

He said he would be seeking professional medical help.

More on Conservatives

Over the course of the weekend, newspaper reports have revealed a series of further claims of inappropriate behaviour by Mr Pincher going back many years.

Sky News has approached Mr Pincher for comment in relation to the accusations but has not received a response.  

The new claims have increased pressure on Boris Johnson to explain what he knew of the concerns around Mr Pincher before appointing him deputy chief whip in his most recent reshuffle in February.

Downing Street initially said Mr Johnson was not aware of any “specific allegations” before appointing him but on Tuesday his spokesman said the PM was informed Mr Pincher was the subject of a complaint about his conduct in 2019.

Cabinet Minister Michael Ellis told the Commons Mr Johnson was made aware of the issue in late 2019 and when last week’s allegations arose the PM “did not immediately recall the conversation” but “as soon as he was reminded” No 10 “corrected their public lines”.

Read more:
No 10 not telling truth about Pincher, claims ex-civil servant

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PM questioned on disgraced MP

Here is a breakdown of the allegations that have been made against Mr Pincher:

2001

Former Olympic rower Alex Story told the Mail on Sunday in 2017 that he had been a victim of inappropriate behaviour by the MP in 2001.

He claimed that when he was a party activist at the age of 26 he had gone back to the home of Mr Pincher, who was standing as a Tory candidate.

He alleged Mr Pincher untucked his shirt, massaged his neck and told him “you’ll go far in the Conservative Party”, before changing into a dressing gown and making an unwanted pass at him “like a pound shop Harvey Weinstein”.

Mr Pincher resigned from the whips’ office after the claim, but was cleared of wrongdoing by a party investigation.

2012

A man in his early 20s received unwanted sexual attention from Mr Pincher at an event in London that year, according to the Mail on Sunday.

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What Raab knew about Pincher

2013

A former parliamentary researcher told the Mail on Sunday that Mr Pincher threatened to report her to her boss when she tried to block his “lecherous” behaviour towards a young man at the Conservative Party conference in 2013.

The Sun has also reported on a vulnerable young man who claims he was groped when he passed out in Mr Pincher’s flat in 2013.

2017

Mr Pincher made further unwanted passes at a Conservative MP in 2017, The Sunday Times reports.

2018

Mr Pincher made an unwanted advance towards a Tory MP when they visited him in his parliamentary office in 2018, according to The Sunday Times.

Although the MP did not make a formal complaint, they told the newspaper they had alerted a Downing Street official and the chief whip about the incident earlier this year.

The Sun newspaper has also spoken to charity worker Mark Dabbs, who claims Mr Pincher groped his thigh and backside when they posed for a picture in his constituency office in 2018.

Boris Johnson and Chris Pincher
Image:
Boris Johnson with Chris Pincher

2019

Former senior civil servant Lord McDonald said a group of officials complained to him about Mr Pincher’s behaviour, which he said was “similar” to the 2022 Carlton Club claims of groping.

He said he reported the allegations and an investigation upheld the complaint. Mr Pincher apologised and promised not to repeat his behaviour, he said.

Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, who was foreign secretary at the time, confirmed he knew about the allegation as Mr Pincher had just been made a Foreign Office minister but no disciplinary action took place.

A report in The Sunday Times also claims Mr Pincher attempted to undo the shirt of a party activist in his Tamworth constituency in 2019.

Another young party activist was approached by Mr Pincher at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that year, according to The Times.

The MP tried to convince the young man to come back to his hotel, and told him it would help his political career, the newspaper reports.

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2021

A Tory activist has told the Daily Mail he may go to the police about an incident in 2021 in which he claims he was “touched up” by Mr Pincher. He told the newspaper he had met the MP to discuss getting a job in politics.

A Conservative MP who has spoken anonymously to the Independent claims he was groped by Mr Pincher in December 2021 and again earlier this year.

He told the newspaper: “He put his hand on my crotch and moved it around. I shook my head and said no, I didn’t want that, but [he] just smiled… he carried on until I was able to move away.”

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