Chris Pincher was the man Boris Johnson put in charge of investigating sex allegations and keeping discipline within his ruling Conservative party. Pincher has now been accused in more than a dozen new reports of alleged groping, groping and inappropriate advances. The series of heinous allegations against Pincher put pressure on Johnson’s administration, which already had something of a accountability issue.
The latest revelations about Pincher, which he denies, began last week. A report in Sun said Pincher was drunk at a private members’ club in London and groped two men. This would be inexcusable to a lawmaker at any point in his or her career, but — if proven — would be even more shocking by Pincher’s role in government; he is deputy chief of staff, a job that, among other things, involves maintaining discipline within his party and looking into allegations of sexual misconduct against politicians of the party. “I drank too much last night,” Pincher wrote in a letter to Boris Johnson resigning from the role. “I embarrassed myself and others, that’s the last thing I wanted to do and for that, I apologize to you and everyone involved.”
Most of the allegations are anonymous and there are no reports of a police investigation into the allegations.
It is surprising but perhaps not entirely surprising that Boris Johnson – a man with several own sex scandal under his line — initially allowing Pincher to continue serving as a Tory legislator. Just 24 hours after the scandal became public, Johnson suspended Pincher from the party on Friday afternoon, when an MP inquiry into his conduct was also announced. But if that was supposed to cover up the incident, an explosion of new allegations over the weekend blew the whole thing up again.
In the past few days, at least 13 of the latest allegations of sexual misconduct and other abuses of power against Pincher over a ten-year period have been reported in the British media. Earliest allegedly happened in 2013, when a parliamentary researcher said Pincher threatened to report her to her boss after she tried to stop Pincher from harassing a young man at the Conservative Party convention. That same year, others say they woke up to find Pincher above them in his London flat after a night out. A charity worker even told Sun that he’s being scouted by Pincher in a photo they took in 2018. Another photo report on monday from someone who said they were tracked down by Pincher in 2021, now planning to go to the police with his allegations. And an alleged male victim said he was scouted by Pincher twice, most recently in June of this year. Pincher has denied all allegations and says he is seeking professional medical help.
The stories of wrongdoing last longer than the reports that will come out over the weekend. In 2001, Pincher was deemed unfit for Olympic rower and Tory activist Alex Story. In one public account of the 2017 incident, the athlete compared Pincher to Harvey Weinstein when describing the incident, in which Story said Pincher put on a bathrobe, massaged his neck and whispered in his ear: “You’ll go far in this. Conservatives”.
The storm of chilling accusations has also raised questions about how Boris Johnson allows someone with Pincher’s reputation to hold a key role in government. “The Prime Minister was not aware of any specific allegations prior to the appointment, and there were no grounds for stopping the appointment,” a Johnson spokesman said. Politico last week. But two unnamed Tory lawmakers told Guardians they raised concerns with the whip office about Pincher in February of this year. And Johnson’s former adviser, Dominic Cummings tweeted on Saturday that Johnson would “constantly mockingly refer to him in number 10 as ‘The Pinner by the Arrow, the Shooter by Nature’ long before appointing him.”
Sadly, this is only the latest scandal to rock Johnson’s party. The prime minister himself has been the subject of heated stories recently after truly chilling details emerged of a politician catching Johnson and his current wife Carrie in an attack. labour “Compromise Situation” in his office while he was secretary of state in 2018. And Johnson’s party recently suffered a heavy double-election defeat that was partly attributed to one of his lawmakers, Neil Parish, was arrested. watching porn in the House of Commons (The parish claimed he was looking for a tractor when he stumbled across an x-rated video.) And of course the sex accusations came while the UK was still reeling from the party scandalin which Johnson and his staff were found to have broken their own pandemic containment rules to attend alcoholic parties on Downing Street.