John Whittingdale had relationship with sex worker

Essex MP and Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has revealed he had a relationship with a sex worker - but claims he did not know her real occupation.

Mr Whittingdale, who is the MP for Maldon, also insisted it had never compromised his position as Culture, Media and Sport Secretary.

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Labour: 'Whittingdale can't continue press role'

Maria Eagle believes John Whittingdale should step aside Credit: PA

John Whittingdale should withdraw from his role regulating the press, the shadow culture secretary said.

Labour's Maria Eagle said for the public to have "any confidence" in the Government's approach to press regulation then Culture Secretary Mr Whittingdale should step aside from any decision making.

Everyone is entitled to a private life

However, these revelations raise serious questions about why the Secretary of State has reneged on the Government's promise to deliver the cross-party agreement on Leveson when this is something he was previously committed to as chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

In order for the public to have any confidence in the Government's approach to press regulation and to allay any concerns about perceptions of any undue influence, the Secretary of State must now recuse himself from any decision making over this matter, just as Vince Cable was removed from deciding media policy in the last Parliament.

– Maria Eagle, shadow culture secretary

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