A British government minister announced Sunday he had resigned and was “deeply ashamed” after being outed sending lewd social media messages to a couple of barmaids.
Andrew Griffiths, small business minister and formerly Prime Minister Theresa May’s chief of staff, said he had stepped down Friday, as the Sunday Mirror newspaper published details of his chats with the two women.
Barmaid Imogen Treharne, 28, told how the married Conservative lawmaker, 47, whose first child was born in April, bombarded her with more than 2,000 messages in three weeks.
Treharne told the tabloid: “I wanted him to be a nice guy, but by the end, I felt dirty. I felt like I was being used for this wealthy man’s gratification.”
The MP sent the women £717 in return for explicit pictures and videos. He asked them to tie each other up, among other requests.
“I am deeply ashamed at my behaviour which has caused untold distress to my wife and family, to whom I owe everything, and a deep embarrassment to the prime minister and the government,” he said in a statement.
“I tendered my resignation as parliamentary under-secretary of state for small business on Friday.
“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.”
Pending an investigation by the Conservative Party, he will sit in parliament as an independent, though he said the government retained his “full support”.