Six new claims of inappropriate behaviour by former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher have emerged, days after he was suspended as a Tory MP after allegations he groped two men.
The allegations stretch back more than a decade.
Mr Pincher – who represents Tamworth in Staffordshire – says he is seeking professional medical support and has no intention of resigning as an MP.
He did not respond to the BBC but denied the allegations to newspapers.
The allegations reported in the Independent, the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Times include three cases where it is alleged Mr Pincher made unwanted advances to male MPs, including in a bar in parliament, and in his own parliamentary office.
No official complaints against him were ever made.
It is reported that one of the MPs contacted Downing Street in February with details of what he said had happened to him and voiced his concerns that Mr Pincher might be made a party whip, in charge of the discipline and welfare of other MPs.
Whips are MPs who are in charge of party discipline, and who have the job of trying to ensure that all MPs on their side vote with the party line in Parliament.
Downing Street has said Boris Johnson was not aware of any specific allegations when he appointed Mr Pincher deputy chief whip in February.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme she had been “informed this morning” that the PM “did not know about specific allegations” before making the appointment.
She added she had not spoken to Mr Johnson herself, but had been given the assurance by “somebody from the No 10 press office”.
Speaking to Sky News earlier, she said the appointment “went through [a] vetting process like normal”.
Mr Pincher, 52, quit as Tory deputy chief whip on Thursday after allegedly groping two men at the Carlton Club, the Conservative Party members’ club, in London, the previous evening.
After resigning as deputy chief whip, No 10 initially suggested that the prime minister considered the matter closed.
But Mr Pincher had the Conservative whip removed on Friday after being reported to Parliament’s behaviour watchdog, meaning he will sit as an independent MP.
Mr Pincher said he had “drunk 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,” Mr Pincher said in a statement.
“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.”
Ms Coffey said Mr Johnson had taken “decisive action” to suspend Mr Pincher on Friday.
However, Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds told Sky the Conservatives had been motivated by “what is politically expedient over what is right”.
Complaints against MPs are examined by independent investigators, who can make recommendations for further action. If they decide to suspend or expel the MP, this would need to be voted on by MPs.
Mr Pincher previously stood down from the whips’ office in 2017, when he was accused of making an unwanted pass at former Olympic rower and Conservative activist Alex Story.
But after an investigation by the party, he was cleared of any breach of its code of conduct.
Source: BBC News