British lawmaker caught watching porn in parliament resigns

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Lawmaker from Britain’s ruling Conservative party resigned on Saturday, after admitting he deliberately watched pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons chamber.

Neil Parish, who represents a seat in southwest England, said he was standing down and triggering a by-election in the Tory stronghold after what he called a moment of “total madness”.

“I think I must have taken complete leave of my senses and my sensibilities and in a sense of decency, everything,” he told the BBC in a candid interview aired Saturday announcing his resignation.

“(It was) a moment of madness and also totally wrong… I’m not going to defend it.”

The 65-year-old, who has been an MP since 2010, had already been suspended Friday from the Conservatives and faced at least two parliamentary probes after he was publicly outed in the scandal.

His public identification ended days of speculation after it emerged at least two other lawmakers had complained that he had been seen watching porn in the Commons, amid broader accusations of a misogynistic environment in Britain’s parliament.

Parish’s decision to resign triggers a by-election in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency in Devon where he won a majority of more than 24,000 in the 2019 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson swept to a landslide victory.

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