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British lawmaker Neil Parish resigning after watching porn in the House of Commons

Conservative member of Parliament Neil Parish speaks at a business breakfast on June 1, 2016. He says he will resign after admitting that he watched porn in the House of Commons.
Matt Cardy
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Conservative member of Parliament Neil Parish speaks at a business breakfast on June 1, 2016. He says he will resign after admitting that he watched porn in the House of Commons.

Updated April 30, 2022 at 1:25 PM ET

Neil Parish, a Conservative Party member of Parliament, says he is resigning after admitting he watched pornography twice in the House of Commons in a "moment of madness."

The first time was accidental, he told the BBC. It happened after he was looking at tractors. But the second time, it was intentional.

"... Funnily enough it was tractors I was looking at," he told BBC. "I did get into another website that had a very similar name and I watched it for a bit which I shouldn't have done. But my crime — biggest crime — is that on another occasion I went in a second time."

Two female colleagues said they saw Parish looking at porn from his phone, while they were sitting near him. The Conservative Party suspended him Friday over the allegations.

In a statement Friday, Parishsaid he will cooperate with any investigation.

"Following recent allegations regarding an MP's use of their mobile phone in Parliament, I have referred myself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in the House of Commons," Parish wrote in a statement.

In response to the Parish incident, Labour's shadow leader of the Commons, Thangam Debbonaire, criticized the way the Conservative Party handled it.

"The Conservatives knew for days about the disgusting behaviour of one of their MPs and tried to cover it up... This is a government rotting from the head down."

It's the latest in a string of sexual misconduct allegations in Parliament

The incident is the latest sexual misconduct allegation in British politics.

Earlier this month, Conservative member of Parliament Imran Ahmad Khan resigned after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in 2008.

"I don't know how to express the shock of the past three days," Khan wrote in a statement on his resignation. "I have been characterised as a sexual predator, outcast and worse."

He said he plans to appeal the verdict and withdraw from "political life."

Khan is also at the center of bullying allegations. Former staff members allege he frequently screamed at his employees, Politico reported.

David Warburton, another Conservative in Parliament, was suspended from the party this month after sexual harassment and cocaine use allegations. And last year, Conservative lawmaker Rob Roberts was suspended from the party after a parliamentary investigation found he had sexually harassed a staff member, theBBC reported.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rina Torchinsky

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