Representative Neil Parrish, 65, is stepping down after what he described as a “crazy” moment while watching pornography on his mobile phone.
A British lawmaker from the ruling Conservative Party has resigned after admitting he had seen pornography on his phone in the House of Commons.
Neil Parrish, a member of Parliament since 2010, announced his decision on Saturday after pressure from members of his party who sought to defuse corruption allegations before the UK holds its local elections on May 5.
The vote is seen as pivotal to Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is already facing a backlash from voters over parties breaking shutdowns in government offices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parrish, 65, is stepping down after what he described as a “crazy” moment. Parrish, chair of the home’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said he had been trying to check out a jar site on the Internet, but had stumbled upon a porn site with a similar name and viewed it “a little bit.”
He told the BBC: “I think I should have left my senses and my senses completely and in the spirit of decency, everything.” “[It was] A totally crazy and wrong moment… I wouldn’t defend it.
The biggest crime I have committed is that I went on another occasion for the second time, and it was intentional.”
Reports that a lawmaker viewed pornography amid the historic green seats of the House of Commons sparked a flood of complaints from women in Parliament about misogyny and sexual harassment they experienced while doing their jobs.
Parliament has long been known for its lively and masculine culture, and is now a much more diverse place with women holding nearly 40 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons. But lawmakers and staff say harassment and inappropriate behavior remain rampant under a system that largely allows members to discipline themselves.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Parrish’s resignation should be a moment for people across the UK to say ‘Enough.
“I don’t think there can be any further consequence of what has been revealed about this particular MP over the past few days,” she said. “Watching mobile pornography in the House of Commons when there are voters is unacceptable.”
The parishioner dismissed the idea that he intended to intimidate anyone.
“Despite all my rights and wrongs,” he said, “I wasn’t proud of what I was doing.” ‘And the only thing I didn’t do, which I’ll take to my grave as real, was I wasn’t actually making sure people could see it. In fact, I was trying to do the exact opposite.’
The scandal comes at a perilous moment for Johnson, who will face pressure to resign if the conservatives do poorly in local elections.