Former MP Neil Parish who quit after watching pornography in Commons says he could stand in by-election | Political news


A former MP who resigned after watching pornography in the Commons has not ruled out standing against his former Tory colleagues in the by-election triggered by his resignation.

Neil Parish has admitted that he has twice viewed pornography on the benches of the House of Commons.

Aged 65, farmer by trade, claimed the first time was accidental after watching tractors online, but the second was “a moment of madness”.

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In an interview with The Telegraph as he left Westminster, he said he could count on his support in the farming community to stand as an independent in the upcoming vote in the constituency of Tiverton and Honiton in Devon .

“It’s an option for me and one that I could consider, the only thing that could possibly stop me is the fact that my local party, my local activists, my local elected officials, all of whom are friends, I don’t know not if I want to do this to them,” Mr. Parish told the Chopper’s Politics podcast.

“Some of the hierarchy in my own party, I guess I wouldn’t have the same problem doing that. Right now I’m taking polls. I can raise money, yeah, yeah.

“I don’t think I would have a problem doing all of this. I have pretty strong supporters in the farming community.

“I don’t think I’m going, but it’s an option.”

Mr Parish said he had increased the Tory majority in the seat since being elected in 2010 but said he needed to ‘dress his wounds’.

“Neil Parish wants to go home and lick his wounds and also give time to let the shock of what I’ve done pass,” he said.

“I will be raising other cattle, probably Herefords or Devon, my wife and I are talking about we are big dog lovers so we could raise a few puppies.”

Mr Parish, who resigned after two female MPs saw him watching pornography in the Commons, has also sought to defend his case amid allegations of misogyny and sexual misconduct in Westminster.

“A ridiculous point of me putting myself in this situation is that if you ask people, you won’t find a friendlier, nicer MP,” he said.

“I never accosted the women, never suggested anything – I might have jokes with them, but that’s it.”

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