William Wragg resigns as party whip over Westminster honey trap

  • Written by Hannah Miller and Kate Whannell
  • BBC News

Image source, United Kingdom Parliament

William Wragg, the MP who admitted sharing MPs' personal phone numbers with someone on a dating app, has “voluntarily” given up the Conservative whip.

He will now sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons.

Mr Wragg also gave up his roles on the 1922 Back Committee and the General Administration Committee.

Last week, it was He told the Times He has been targeted by a suspected Westminster honey trap plot.

The Hazel Grove MP said he was speaking to someone on an app, who then asked him for other people's numbers.

“They had bargain things on me. They wouldn't leave me alone… I gave them some numbers, not all of them.”

He told the newspaper: “I am very sorry that my weakness caused harm to others.”

Up to 20 people in political circles reportedly received unsolicited messages, which included explicit images.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed it was investigating reports of letters being sent to MPs.

Leicestershire Police said the force was “investigating a report of malicious communications”.

Since last week, when Politico first reported that people in Westminster were receiving suspicious letters from senders named Charlie and Abe, some politicians and political journalists have been coming forward with their own experiences.

Bosworth MP Luke Evans said he was a “victim of cyberflashing” after he was sent a photo of a naked woman.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Tory backbenchers – responsible for party discipline – said: “Following Will Wragg’s decision to step down from his roles in public administration and the 1922 committees, he has also informed the chief whip that it is voluntary.” Abandon the Tory whip.”

The 36-year-old's departure from the parliamentary Conservative Party is a major downfall for a man who until Monday night was vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee, which includes all of the party's MPs.

Party leaders have been clear that his decision to resign was voluntary, although party leader Richard Holden has already said it was “the right thing to do”.

“Clearly his career in public life has come to an end,” Holden told Sky News.

While several MPs expressed sympathy for their colleague – Chancellor Jeremy Hunt praised his “courageous” apology – some MPs privately expressed surprise that Mr Wragg had not lost the Conservative whip and at least one Tory MP contacted the whips office to say he should Suspending his membership in the parliamentary party.

There was also a risk that his continued presence in the parliamentary party would become a partisan issue.

Mr Wragg upset some of those close to Boris Johnson by being one of the first to call on him to leave in the wake of the party revelations.

Andrea Jenkins, a Johnson supporter, said Wragg was “foolish to put security at risk”.

Mr Wragg's decision to resign from his position may take some of the heat off the Prime Minister, although critics may continue to question why Rishi Sunak has not taken stronger action himself – and Labour's Pat Macfadyen said it was “yet another indictment of Rishi Sunak's weakness”. “.

For now, Mr. Wragg will sit as an independent. His friends do not believe that he has any intention of resigning from his position as MP, after he announced several months ago his plan to leave politics in the upcoming elections.

It's a career as an MP that was always coming to an end this year, but it didn't end the way he had hoped.

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