What did Chris Pincher do? Allegations against Tory MP explained - was Boris Johnson briefed of 2019 complaint
The former deputy chief whip has faced a number of allegations of sexual assault following his resignation
The sage deepened when former civil servant Simon McDonald wrote a letter to the parliamentary standards commissioner regarding a briefing Boris Johnson had about Pincher.
McDonald said that the Prime Minister was briefed in person about a complaint of alleged groping by Mr Pincher from 2019, and comes following Johnson’s stance of not knowing any prior specific allegations regarding the matter.
Downing Street then said on Monday afternoon (4 July) that Johnson had been aware of allegations but that these were “either resolved or did not proceed to a formal complaint”.
These are the allegations that have been made against Pincher.
Wednesday 29 June
According to The Sun, the 52 year old allegedly groped two fellow patrons at the Carlton Club in London’s Piccadilly on Wednesday (29 June), which is the Tory Party’s exclusive private members club.
Speaking to the Times anonymously, one of the men said that he had been buying a round of drinks when Pincher groped him on his backside before moving his hand to his groin. It was the first time he had met Pincher.
He said: “I had my drink in my hand and then he then went down and grabbed my arse and then slowly . . . moved his hand down the front of my groin. I froze a little bit and it ended after about two or three seconds. It was a very bizarre thing.”
He claimed that he approached Sarah Dines, a junior whip who had witnessed the alleged assault, and told her to raise the incident with the chief whip.
“I said, “That might have happened in the 1970s and 1980s but it’s not OK now”,” he said.
The second man who was allegedly groped recalled a similar encounter according to the Times.
Speaking to the Independent anonymously, a Tory MP alleged that Pincher targeted him twice, once in December 2021 and then again within the parliamentary estate in June.
In the alleged incident last month, the MP said that Pincher deliberately touched his genitals through his clothing and declined to move his hand when asked.
He said: “He put his hand on my crotch and moved it around.
“I shook my head and said no, I didn’t want that, but [Pincher] just smiled… he carried on until I was able to move away.”
In the first alleged assault in December 2021, the MP said that Pincher groped him repeatedly, with his hand placed “firmly” on his backside.
He said: “It was really late and I’d worked stupid hours for days. I’d been drinking with a range of Westminster colleagues and it got very hazy. I remember suddenly being sharply aware of being touched in a sexual way.”
The MP said that on both occasions, the touching was extended and sexually intimate, and his ability to resist said touching was limited due to drinking.
According to a report from the Mail on Sunday, a Tory staffer has told how Pincher threatened to report her to her boss after she attempted to prevent his “lecherous” advances on a young man at a Tory party conference in 2013.
Speaking to the publication, the former parliamentary researcher said: “[Pincher] kept making visual and verbal suggestions and I could tell the guy was getting a bit uncomfortable, so he and I started chatting a lot more.
“He was both eyeing him up and making comments about how the guy looked. We were chatting almost in a weird way to make it clear that the guy wasn’t in that space, and Chris just seemed to get jealous and angry.
“I made some kind of jokey remark towards Chris, not about the situation because I wouldn’t dare – he was an MP – but it was really funny, really light hearted and he turned around and snapped and said, “Who is your boss?”.”
The former researcher described Pincher’s behaviour as an “abuse of power” and added: “I just kept thinking how nasty he was when he felt that I was in any way some kind of competition. It was weird.”
Conservative councillor Daniel Cook alleged that Pincher groped him in 2005 and 2006. Speaking to Channel 4 News, Cook, Deputy Mayor at Tamworth council in Staffordshire, said that he had lodged a complainted against the former deputy chief whip.
He told Channel 4 that he met Pincher when he first entered into politics, and that Pincher had taken him “under his wing”.
Cook said that Pincher was drunk during the alleged incidents, the first of which happened in 2005. Cook said that Pincher came around to his house with a council colleague and “the next thing I knew... cupped his hand around my genitals” and asked if he had any “good porn”.
Cook said that he attempted to laugh off the first incident, but then a year later, he was groped once again.
He said that Pincher, who was “stinking drunk”, had groped him from behind. Cook said that that time, he physically had Pincher removed from his home.
The Sunday Times reported that Pincher is alleged to have made unwanted advances at two Tory MPs in 2017 and 2018 after he had resigned for the first time as whip following the allegations from former Olympic rower Alex Story.
While neither MP made a formal complaint, the MP who encountered Pincher in 2018 reportedly alerted Chris Heaton-Harris and a No 10 official to the incident in February this year over fears that Pincher was being lined up to be appointed as chief whip.
A spokesperson for the Government said that, without a formal complaint in February, it would have been inappropriate to block Pincher’s appointment in the cabinet reshuffle.
What were the allegations made by Alex Story?
Pincher served as assistant whip and Comptroller of the Household in 2017, however he resigned from the position on 5 November 2017 and referred himself to the Conservative party’s complaints procedure and the police.
The move came about after ex Olympic rower and Conservative candidate Alex Story alleged that nine years previously, when Pincher was an MP, Pincher had made an unwanted advance on him after he had invited him back to his London home.
Story claimed that Pincher had attempted to untuck his shirt and had massaged his neck. He said that Pincher poured him a whisky and whispered to him: “You’ll go far in the Conservative Party.”
Pincher then allegedly left the room and when he returned, Story said he was wearing a “bathrobe like a pound shop Harvey Weinstein, with his chest and belly sticking out”.
Story then left the premises.
At the time, Pincher responded to the accusation by saying: “If Mr Story has ever felt offended by anything I said, then I can only apologise to him.”
Pincher was later cleared by the Conservative party of breaching party rules, following an investigation into the allegation.
A Conservative spokesperson said: “Following media allegations, Chris Pincher referred himself to our code of conduct.
“Following an investigation, a panel headed by an independent QC considered the evidence and has concluded there has not been a breach of the code of conduct.”
In a separate incident, Pincher was also accused of “touching up” by former MP Tom Blenkinsop, who told him to “f**k off”.
What did Chris Pincher say in his resignation letter?
On Friday 1 July, Pincher resigned from his position at the Tory deputy chief whip following allegations that he groped two men in a private members’ club.
In his resignation letter to Johnson, Pincher wrote: “Dear Prime Minister.
“Last night I drank far too much. I’ve embarrassed myself and other people which is the last thing I want to do and for that I apologise to you and those concerned. I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.
“I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from the back benches, and I wish you all the best as you deal with aftershocks of COVID and the challenges of international inflation.
“It has been the honour of my life to have served in Her Majesty’s Government.”
Pincher had the Conservative whip removed on Friday after he had been reported to Parliament’s behaviour watchdog, which means that he will sit as an independent MP. Pincher represents Tamworth in Staffordshire and has no intentions of resigning as an MP.
Pincher has since said in a statement that he is seeking “professional medical support”, and that he hopes to return to his duties as an MP “as soon as possible”.
He said: “I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend the whip whilst an inquiry is under way, and I will cooperate fully with it.
"As I told the Prime Minister, I drank far too much on Wednesday night, embarrassing myself and others and I am truly sorry for the upset I caused.
"The stresses of the last few days, coming on top of those over the last several months, have made me accept that I will benefit from professional medical support.
"I am in the process of seeking that now, and I hope to be able to return to my constituency duties as soon as possible."