Braintree: Tory MP Brooks Newmark resigns ministerial role after tabloid reports he sent explicit texts to undercover reporter
- Credit: PHILIPPE HAYS
Downing Street has accepted the resignation of Braintree MP Brooks Newmark as Minister for Civil Society ahead of a Sunday newspaper article into his private life.
Braintree MP Brooks Newmark has apologised after reportedly sending explicit text messages to an undercover journalist.
The Conservative civil society minister resigned from the post after a Sunday Mirror sting alleged Mr Newmark sent sexually explicit pictures to who he thought was a young pretty Conservative PR woman over social media.
However the woman was actually an undercover freelance journalist.
Mr Newmark, who is married to his wife Lucy and has five children, said: “I have no-one to blame but myself for falling for this tabloid sting.
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“What I did was wrong and I am sorry for the pain and shame I have caused my family, my friends and my constituents.
“I have been a complete fool and deeply regret my behaviour.
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“I hope people will give me the time to try to heal the enormous hurt I have caused Lucy and my children.
“I hope with time I can be forgiven.”
Mr Newmark said he still intended to stand for Braintree in next year’s general election, saying the revelations were “a personal matter which I hope to work through with my family”.
Downing Street has accepted the MP’s resignation as Minister for Civil Society.
Mr Newmark, who first entered Parliament in 2005, won the new Braintree seat in 2010 with a majority of more than 16,000
He added: “I have decided to resign as Minister for Civil Society having been notified of a story to be published in a Sunday newspaper.
“I would like to appeal for the privacy of my family to be respected at this time. I remain a loyal supporter of this Government as its long term economic plan continues to deliver for the British people.”
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has accepted Brooks Newmark’s resignation from his role as Minister for Civil Society.”
The announcement came just hours after Conservative backbencher Mark Reckless announced that he was defecting to UKIP.
Mr Newmark co-founded Women2Win along with Baroness Jenkin in 2005 and has worked continuously to draw attention to the importance of promoting women in Parliament – both in the House and in the media.
The former government whip had sparked controversy just weeks ago when he said charities should not stray into the realms of politics and “stick to knitting”.
Mr Newmark made the remarks at an event, held jointly by the innovation charity Nesta and the Cabinet Office Centre for Social Action, called “People helping people: the future of public services”.
He later took to the social media website Twitter to clarify his answer, writing: “To clarify my answer at #pplhelpingppl Q&A - charities absolutely have right to campaign but should stay out of “realm of ‘party’ politics”