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Chris Pincher has been ‘a big distraction’ in politics, says Michelle Donelan

07 Sep Chris Pincher has been ‘a big distraction’ in politics, says Michelle Donelan

SCIENCE Minister Michelle Donelan has described the allegations made against Chris Pincher MP as “awful” and said the scandal “a big distraction” in politics.

She was speaking as it emerged that the former Tory whip said he was resigning as an MP after losing an appeal against being suspended for groping two men.

Reacting to the news, Ms Donelan told GB News: “We of course want to ensure that every constituent across the country gets the very best service from their members of Parliament.

“This has been a big distraction in terms of British politics, this story, throughout the whole period, hasn’t it? I’m sure we can all agree on that.

“And the things that took place in regard to this individual was certainly not acceptable by any member of Parliament and I don’t condone them whatsoever.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Ellie Costello, she was asked if the Conservative Party has a problem with sexual misconduct.

She said: “Absolutely not. This is not a party political issue. And nor should it be an issue in any workplace. You wouldn’t expect if you worked in any place to experience these types of things.

“It’s important that we have a process in place to deal with them and we also set the tone for the rest of society and lead by example, but my party certainly does not have a problem.

“These are isolated but very, very awful incidents that we should not ever expect to take place in the mother of Parliaments.”

On the UK re-joining the EU’s Horizon research programme, she said: “Fundamentally what’s important is the deal we’ve got, it’s not just the deal that was originally on offer, we’ve managed to negotiate working with the EU a deal that will actually deliver for the taxpayer.

“So for instance, we’re not paying for the years that we weren’t members. Also, we have a clawback mechanism so if there was a scenario where we weren’t getting as much out of it as we were putting in, that will be automatically triggered.”