A government minister has quit after reportedly sending “depraved” text messages to two female constituents.
Andrew Griffiths resigned as Minister for Small Business on Friday night for “personal reasons”, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.
In a statement to the Sunday Mirror, which published details of the texts, Griffiths, a former chief of staff to Theresa May, apologised to his local Conservative Party and to his constituents in Burton.
“I am deeply ashamed at my behaviour which has caused untold distress to my wife and family, to whom I owe everything, and deep embarrassment to the Prime Minister and the government I am so proud to serve,” he said.
“Following discussions today with the Chief Whip, I have referred myself to the Conservative Party’s code of conduct procedures.
"I entirely accept that pending this investigation it is right the whip is withdrawn.
“I do not seek to excuse my behaviour and will be seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again.
"In time I hope to earn the forgiveness of all those who put their trust in me and that I have let down so terribly.
“The Prime Minister and the Government she leads will continue to have my full support.”
A Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spokesperson said:
“Andrew Griffiths resigned as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Business on Friday night for personal reasons.”