Neil Parish ‘slowly recovering’ from political death

He says he’s coming up for air now.

(No mention of campaigning for the Tories) – Owl 

Joe Ives, local democracy reporter

Disgraced former Neil Parish MP, who resigned following revelations that he had watched pornography in the House of Commons, says he is starting to recover from his “political death.”

Mr Parish, who served as MP for Tiverton and Honiton for 12 years, has explained how the fallout from the controversy has impacted his life and wellbeing. 

It is a month since Mr Parish was identified as the Tory MP caught watching porn on his phone in parliament. 

He said: “I feel that I’m coming up for air now. It’s your political death really and you don’t sleep. 

“I’m a great one for eating food but I’ve hardly been eating my food. You get completely thrown.

“My wife is very good, very down to earth, very supportive but also says to me: ‘come on, pick up the pieces, get on with it.’

“This is life and there is life outside of parliament. Even though I shall miss parliament greatly, there is life outside. 

“I have a practical farming background [and I have] still got the farm. I go back to that. I’ve got plenty of gardening to do. I’ve got some practical things to do and I can build that up.

“I also want to keep going on other issues, People4Ponies, I’m the president of that and I want to help that as well.

“[It’s] a charity trying to stop ponies being mistreated across the south west. Lots of things there that I can do and hopefully help with.”

Mr Parish wants to “keep his brain alive” by focusing on these activities as well as farming charities and the environment.

He continued: “I’ve really appreciated the support that I’ve been given in the constituency.

“I tried to work hard over the last 12 years and I hope that’s paid off and I really have been glad of the support.”

The by-election for Mr Parish’s successor will take place on Thursday 23 June.