Socialist Worker

Pressure mounts on disgraced Tory MP to quit over sexual harassment

Issue No. 2613

Andrew Daddy Griffiths

Andrew "Daddy" Griffiths (Pic: Chris McAndrew)


Former Tory minister Andrew Griffiths was desperately clinging on as an MP at the start of this week, despite growing calls for him to resign.

He had sent 2,000 sexually explicit and sometimes violent messages to two female constituents.

In one message the 47 year old referred to himself as “Daddy” and discussed the women beating each other.

One of the women involved, Imogen Treharne, said the MP had made her feel vile and “always turned the conversation back to sex”.

“I felt like I was being used for this wealthy man’s gratification,” she said.

Griffiths, MP for Burton, once worked as Theresa May’s chief of staff.

He was forced to stand down as small business minster and suspended from the Tory party after the Sunday Mirror said it would reveal the texts.

The Guardian later claimed that Griffiths was appointed to his post despite being under investigation for allegations of inappropriate touching and bullying.

Griffiths was accused by a Conservative borough councillor of being “very forward” after he allegedly touched her knee and clutched her waist at a fundraising ball in September 2016. He has also faced a number of bullying complaints.

Ashamed

Griffiths, who helped set up the Women2Win campaign to get more female MPs elected, said he was deeply ashamed about the text revelations. He said he had caused untold distress to my wife and family” and also “deep embarrassment to the prime minister and the government I am so proud to serve”.

He didn’t mention the women he had sent the texts to.

Griffiths led the government’s response to the Hampton-Alexander review into gender equality in major firms.

He could be the first MP to be investigated by parliament’s new harassment and bullying watchdog.

On Monday Griffiths told the Burton Mail, “I want to continue the work I have done for constituents and build on the achievements of the last eight years.

“I will continue to represent my constituents and deal with all casework but hope for a period of privacy.”

Top Tories could be telling Griffiths not to resign because they want to avoid a by-election, particularly as every MP’s vote counts over Brexit.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

News
Tue 17 Jul 2018, 14:44 BST
Issue No. 2613
Share this article


Tags



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.