16, July 2018
A British government minister has stepped down after being exposed for sending lewd social media messages to a number of women.
After the Sunday Mirror newspaper published details of his chats with two barmaids, Small business minister Andrew Griffiths, Tory Prime Minister Theresa May’s former chief of staff, said he felt “deeply ashamed” and had already handed in his resignation letter on Friday.
“I am deeply ashamed at my behavior which has caused untold distress to my wife and family, to whom I owe everything, and deep embarrassment to the prime minister and the government,” the disgraced MP said in a statement.
“I tendered my resignation as parliamentary under secretary of state for small business on Friday,” he added.
Barmaid Imogen Treharne, 28, told the Mirror in detail how the married minister and member of parliament, whose first child was born in April, sent her over 2,000 offensive messages in just three weeks.
“I wanted him to be a nice guy, but by the end I felt dirty. I felt like I was being used for this wealthy man’s gratification,” she was quoted as saying.
The 47-year-old minister even sent the Treharne £717 in return for some explicit pictures and videos of the things she did with the other woman at his request.
“I do not seek to excuse my behavior and will be seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again,” Griffiths said. “In time I hope to earn the forgiveness of all those who put their trust in me and that I have let down so terribly.”
The MP is pending an investigation by the ruling Conservative Party and will sit in parliament as an independent.
A spokeswoman for the ministry told AFP earlier that Griffiths had stepped down “for personal reasons.”