A British member of parliament resigned from Boris Johnson’s government on Thursday after he “drank far too much”, local media reported, the latest in a string of scandals and setbacks for the prime minister.
Christopher Pincher, who had been serving as Deputy Chief Whip, wrote in his resignation letter that he still supported Johnson but had to resign after an incident on Wednesday, without specifying in detail what he had done.
“Last night I drank far too much. I’ve embarrassed myself and other people which is the last thing I want to do, and for that, I apologise to you,” he said in a letter cited by media outlets including BBC and Sky News.
“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip.” Pincher’s role was to work to ensure lawmakers vote as the government wished.
The resignation was first reported by the Sun newspaper. Pincher’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Johnson’s Downing Street office declined to comment.
Johnson has come under pressure to resign himself after he was fined for gatherings that broke lockdown rules, and an official investigation into those reported parties found a culture of drinking among workers at his office.
In a further blow to Johnson’s government, he lost two parliamentary seats last week in by-elections triggered by the resignations of two of his lawmakers in separate scandals.
Pincher’s letter said that although he would resign from government, he would continue to serve in parliament as a so-called back-bencher and support Johnson.
Here is the resignation letter in full:
Dear Prime Minister
Last night I drank far too much.
I’ve embarrassed myself and other people which is the last thing I want to do and for that, I apologise to you and to those concerned.
I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as deputy chief whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset, to do this.
I want to assure you that you will continue to have my full support from the back benches, and I wish you all the best as you deal with the aftershocks of Covid and the challenges of international inflation.”
It has been the honour of my life to have served in Her Majesty’s government.