Parish to quit as MP, after admitting watching pornography

The chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee Neil Parish has told the BBC he is resigning as an MP after admitting he watched pornography twice in Parliament.

Mr Parish, who has represented Tiverton and Honiton in Devon since 2010, has been a big supporter of the pig industry, particularly during the pig industry crisis. The committee’s latest report on labour shortages in the food and farming industry was widely welcomed within the industry, making a number of important recommendations to improve the situation.

He was revealed as the MP looking at pornography in the Commons yesterday and was suspended by the Conservative Party on Friday over the allegations. Today, he told the BBC it has been a ‘moment of madness’. He said the first time was accidental after looking at a tractor website, but the second time – in the House of Commons – was deliberate.

In an exclusive interview with BBC South West, Mr Parish what he did ‘was absolutely totally wrong’, adding: “I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. I made a huge terrible mistake and I’m here to tell the world.”

He said he was standing down after seeing the furore and damage it was causing his family, his constituency and local association.

“I was wrong, I was stupid, I lost sense of mind,” he said. “I make a full apology. A total full apology. It was not my intention to intimidate.”

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.