Boris Johnson was aware of concerns about the conduct of Chris Pincher when he made him deputy chief whip, Downing Street has confirmed.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the while he knew of claims which had been either been resolved or had not resulted in a formal complaint, it was not considered appropriate to block his appointment.
Mr Pincher plunged the Government into a new crisis when he dramatically quit last week over allegations he groped two men at a Conservative private members’ club.
He had previously resigned from the whips office in 2017 over claims he made unwanted advances to a young activist, but was later reinstated after being cleared by an internal Conservative Party investigation.
Over the weekend, however, details emerged in the press of further claims about alleged sexual advances to men – including two fellow Conservative MPs – over a period of years.
Mr Pincher has denied the allegations to the newspapers which carried them.
To most people, these accusations are very serious in nature and symptomatic of a worrying culture in the Houses of Parliament.
One person who doesn’t seem to think much of it is, David Goodhart from the Tory think tank the Policy Exchange.
Appearing on BBC’s Politics Live, he said: “I have to admit I haven’t really been following this story [Chris Pincher] story before today and part of me is inclined to say it’s a great big fuss about not very much.”
Presenter Jo Coburn replied, “really?”
Goodhart continued: “Yes, in the sense that we have no allegations of any sort of serious assault. There has been no power imbalance, this is one of the major issues when something like this crops up.”
This reaction chime with you?