A Conservative MP has claimed he was groped on two occasions by Chris Pincher, who was suspended from the party on Friday after sexual misconduct allegations.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent on the condition of anonymity, the man claims he was targeted twice by Mr Pincher, first in December 2021 and again last month.
One alleged assault took place within the parliamentary estate in June, when the man claims Mr Pincher deliberately touched his genitals through his clothing and refused to remove his hand when asked.
“He put his hand on my crotch and moved it around,” the MP said.
“I shook my head and said no, I don’t want that, but he [Mr Pincher] just smiled… he carried on until I was able to move away.”
During the first alleged incident, on an evening in December 2021 near the Tory-linked private members’ club the Carlton Club, the man said he was groped repeatedly, with Mr Pincher’s hand placed “firmly” on his backside.
“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.
On both occasions, the touching was prolonged and sexually intimate, the man claimed, and he said he was limited in his capacity to resist after drinking.
Mr Pincher firmly denies the allegations.
The MP’s account comes amid a slew of claims about Mr Pincher’s behavior since his resignation as deputy chief whip on Friday morning, following allegations that he had groped two men while drunk on Wednesday evening.
Speaking for the first time since he stood down from his government job, Mr Pincher announced that he was seeking “professional medical support”.
He would cooperate fully with the inquiry, he said, adding that the stresses of the last few days “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.”
The prime minister suspended Mr Pincher from the party, but only after a call from a Tory MP who gave a “disturbing” account of his behaviour, a Downing Street source told the PA news agency. The events on 29 June allegedly took place at the Carlton Club, a private members club in central London, often frequented by Tory MPs, aides and activists.
In May, news site Political reported that an MP, later revealed to be Mr Pincher, had been given a minder to try to prevent him from drinking too much and getting into trouble.
In his resignation letter to the prime minister, Mr Pincher wrote that he was standing down from the role because he “drank far too much” and had “embarrassed” himself and others.
Earlier today, he said he was “truly sorry”, adding that he was seeking medical support and would cooperate fully with the parliamentary inquiry into the allegations.
The MP who has made the latest allegations said he felt now was the right time to speak out about Mr Pincher’s alleged behavior because there might be other victims, and because there was a wider problem of people turning “a blind eye to the abuse of younger men by older men” within parliament.
He said: “We’re quite rightly more alert to the abuse of young women working in Westminster. We are starting to learn to spot the signs of older men targeting them. We’re blind, even more uncomfortable, with the idea that men target men.
“I think people are scared that calling out abusive behavior will be seen as homophobic,” he added.
The MP said he previously mentioned that he was groped by Mr Pincher to a fellow Tory MP but it was “shrugged off” because “he was a known quantity”.
He said he had not pursued a complaint through the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) or the police to avoid the harm of being personally exposed.
The MP added that Mr Pincher was a “disgrace to the party” and it was “unacceptable for him [Mr Pincher] to stay” in parliament.
A formal complaint about Mr Pincher’s conduct was made on Friday to the ICGS, which is investigating his conduct.
In what appears to be a separate claim, a young Conservative activist told The Times that Mr Pincher put his hand on his knee and told him he would “go far in the party” at an event during the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Mr Pincher’s lawyers have said that he firmly denies the allegation, according to The Times‘ report.