Theresa May sparks fury as she lifts suspension on married Tory MP caught bombarding barmaids with texts about ‘violent sex acts’
- PM Theresa May restored the party whip to Burton MP Andrew Griffiths today
- He had been suspended for bombarding women with sexually violent texts
- She also let Dover Tory MP Charlie Elphicke back into parliamentary party today
- Both men can vote in the crunch confidence ballot which will decide May’s fate
Andrew Griffiths, 48, was suspended form the parliamentary part after he was found to have sent 2,000 sexts to two women (file pic)
Theresa May sparked fury today after she lifted the suspension on a married Tory MP who was caught bombarding a barmaid with texts about violent sex acts.
Andrew Griffiths, 48, was suspended from the parliamentary part after he was found to have sent 2,000 sexts to two women weeks after the birth of his first child.
Mr Griffiths, the Tory MP for Burton gave £700 to Imogen Treharne and her friend and even offered to rent out a flat so that they could hook up while demanding they send him something ‘f****** filthy’.
Describing himself as ‘evil’, he outlined degrading sex acts, demanding explicit pictures and videos and said he’d rather be ‘licking naughty girls’ instead of ‘running the country’.
He had the Tory whip withdrawn from him and has apologised for his behaviour.
But today, Mrs May restored the party whip – meaning that he could vote in today’s crunch confidence ballot which will decide her fate as leader.
Charlie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, also had his suspension lifted today so he could cast his ballot.
Mr Griffiths told his local newspaper, Burton Live, that he will be backing Mrs May in tonight’s vote.
He said: ‘Theresa May has shown huge determination and bravery in negotiating and arguing for her deal.
‘I believe she remains the best person to deliver the Brexit people in Burton and Uttoxeter voted for, and I will be supporting her in tonight’s ballot.’
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Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler, who said: ‘How can Theresa May call herself a feminist when she lets an MP who was suspended for sexual harassment back into the Conservative Party to vote for her in the leadership challenge?
‘This is a betrayal of women.’
Fellow Labour MP Jess Phillips added: ‘They said it would be different.
‘They said we won’t let patronage and power change our minds where wrongdoing occurred. They said we won’t protect our mates.
‘They lied, they all lied. Same old same old.’
Last month Mr Griffiths told the Sunday Times that he had been left ‘on the verge of suicide’ over the sexting revelations.
He said his actions had been the culmination of decades of mental health problems, sparked by being sexually abused by an older boy when he was aged eight, something he never revealed to his parents.
Theresa May vowed defiance today in a statement in Downing Street despite facing a potentially terminal no-confidence vote by Tory MPs
Theresa May is said to have left some politicians in tears as she told the gathering in a Commons committee room (pictured) that she will bow out gracefully once that task is complete
Mrs May is battling for her political survival today as Tory MPs vote in a secret ballot which will seal her fate as leader.
She left MPs in tears tonight as she tried to save her political skin by pledging she won’t try to lead the Tories into the next election.
In an emotional final plea to her backbenchers packed into a Commons committee room, Mrs May acknowledged widespread unrest with her Brexit strategy.
But she appealed for more time to strike a settlement with the EU that they can support. And some MPs at the behind-closed doors session wept as she confirmed she will bow out gracefully once that task is complete.
As the crowd sweltered in the stifling heat, Mrs May is said to have told them in her ‘heart’ she would like to carry on but she recognised that was not the ‘will’ of the party.
Home Office minister Victoria Atkins was one of those nearly overcome by the emotion of the moment. Asked for her reaction as she emerged from the room, she welled up and clutched her chest.
The 317 Tories have now started voting in the no-confidence contest, with Mrs May whisked away to await their verdict.
They will have two hours to secretly cast their ballots before they are counted and the premier learns her fate at around 9pm.
The contest is being held after hardliners finally secured the 48 letters from MPs needed to trigger the process.
Allies including Chancellor Philip Hammond insisted today that Mrs May will fight on even if she only wins by one vote.
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