Neil Parish issues statement after Tiverton and Honiton MP is accused of watching porn in House of Commons

Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish has confirmed he is under investigation over allegations he watched pornography on a mobile phone in the House of Commons.

Married dad-of-two Mr Parish referred himself to the Standards Committee of the House of Commons and he has been suspended from the Conservative whip while the investigations take place.

And the matter has been referred to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

The 65-year-old MP said he would cooperate fully with the investigation and continue to serve his constituents amid the scrutiny.

A statement by Mr Parish on the allegations, published on his official website, said:

“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.

“I will be cooperating fully with any investigation, and whilst it is ongoing I will continue to perform my duties as MP for Tiverton and Honiton.

“I will not be making further comments at this stage.”

A spokesperson for Chris Heaton-Harris, Tory Chief Whip, said: “Having spoken to the chief whip this afternoon, Neil Parish MP is reporting himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

“Mr Parish has been suspended from the Conservative whip pending the outcome of that investigation.”

The MP for Tiverton and Honiton chairs the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and it has been reported that he can continue in that role while the probe takes place.

Reports surfaced earlier this week that two female ministers said they saw a male Conservative MP allegedly watching porn, sitting nearby in the commons chamber.

When Mr Parish, chair of the Defra select committee, was interviewed on television prior to his name being linked to the allegations – and his self-referral for investigation –  he told GB News he thought the whips’ office would do a ‘thorough investigation’.

Mr Parish, who lives in on the family farm in Somerset and champions rural concerns, said: “I think the whips’ office will do a thorough investigation and we will wait and see that result.

“I think, from that, then the decision will have to be made on what action to be taken.”

When quizzed if there was a cultural problem inside Parliament, Mr Parish said: “I think if you have got 650 members of Parliament in a very intense area you are going to get people that step over the line.

“I don’t think necessarily there’s a huge culture here, but it does have to be dealt with, and dealt with seriously. And I think that’s what the whips will do in our whips’ office.”

 

Police enquiries continue into how a fire in a field started near Honiton, destroying a 4×4 truck

 

About Author