Tory Neil Parish has formally quit as MP for Tiverton and Honiton after he admitted watching pornography in the House of Commons in ‘a moment of madness’.
Mr Parish, 65, resigned after he admitted twice watching adult content on his mobile phone in Parliament.
The resignation announcement will trigger a by-election for the MP’s seat of Tiverton and Honiton, with a date yet to be announced.
A statement from the Treasury posted on May 4 said it had appointed Mr Parish a Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead – a formal term used that allows MPs to resign from office.
The statement read: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer has this day appointed Neil Quentin Gordon Parish to be Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.”
Mr Parish, a farmer by trade who has represented the Tiverton and Honiton constituency for 12 years, was suspended from the Conservative Party whip last week.
He admitted he had viewed adult content on his mobile phone in Parliament twice – and that it was ‘absolutely, totally wrong’.
Mr Parish said the first occasion was accidental and he stumbled across an X-rated website while looking at tractors online.
His decision to quit as MP was driven by the ‘furore and the damage’ his actions had caused his family, and the Conservative party.
When interviewed about his actions in the House, he said: “Funnily enough it was tractors I was looking at…so I did get into another website that had a sort of very similar name and I watched it for a bit which I shouldn’t have done.
“My crime – biggest crime – is that on another occasion I went in a second time, and that was deliberate.”
He added: “I must have taken complete leave of my senses and my sensibilities and a sense of decency, everything.”