‘Porn MP’ Neil Parish threatens to stand for re-election against Tory candidate
“I’ve got some sort of quite powerful backers within the farming community… If I stood, it wouldn’t be a problem in raising the money. The farming community realised how I fought their corner.”
Noon update according to Politico Newsletter: He’ll decide whether to stand on the eve of nominations closing! (Just to upset Tory High Command – Owl)
Will Taylor www.lbc.co.uk
“Porn MP” Neil Parish is weighing up standing for re-election and running against the Conservative Party candidate.
The politician resigned after he was caught watching porn twice in the House of Commons.
The ex-Tory MP became the focus of both outrage and ridicule when it emerged he had brazenly watched it in the chamber, causing female colleagues to complain.
Mr Parish later said he had accidentally viewed it in the first instance, while searching for tractors on his phone, before later accessing it deliberately.
He resigned his seat in Tiverton and Honiton in South West England after initially looking like he would try to fight on, and admitted he was a “f***ing idiot”.
But he is now considering running as an independent in the upcoming by-election triggered by his own resignation, pitting himself against any Tory candidate who stands.
“It is an option for me and one that I could consider,” he told the Telegraph.
“The only thing that may well stop me is the fact that my local party, my local activists, my local councillors, are friends. I don’t know if I want to do that to them.
“Some of the hierarchy of my own party, I suppose I wouldn’t have the same problem with doing it. At the moment, I’m taking soundings.”
He went on: “I’ve got some sort of quite powerful backers within the farming community… If I stood, it wouldn’t be a problem in raising the money. The farming community realised how I fought their corner.”
Mr Parish resigned after admitting his “moment of madness”, saying he was “not proud of what I was doing”.
He was reported as telling his wife he was sorry she “married a f***ing idiot”.
Mr Parish denied watching the porn in a way that he hoped others would see it, and added: “I make a full apology. A total full apology. It was not my intention to intimidate.”
The former chair of the Commons environment committee, who is passionate about rural issues, has said he will decide before nominations for the by-election close.
First elected in 2010, he won the Tiverton and Honiton seat in the 2019 general election with 35,893 votes, a 60% share and 24,239 votes ahead of his closest rival in the constituency, a Labour nominee.