This weekend the news broke that Brooks Newmark had resigned from the government due to a sting by the Sunday Mirror. A journalist posed as a young female Conservative activist and they ended up flirting via Whatsapp with him eventually sending some lewd photos.
To my mind, this is a fairly simple case of entrapment with a journalist pretending to be somebody in order to get a gossip story for a newspaper. This does not require a resignation and is a further indication of what is wrong with our politics; MPs are not held to account the same as regular people.
If you worked on the checkout in ASDA and you started flirting with someone on Whatsapp despite being married, you don’t have to resign when everybody finds out. However, you do have to resign if you take money from the till1.
So it should be for MPs. They are regular people and they shouldn’t have to give up their career for stupid things they have done in their private lives that are totally legal. The argument “he lied to his wife so what stops him lying to voters” is idiotic; unless there is proof that his private life is affecting his work, then it is certainly not in the public interest.
If an MP or any other public figure is doing something illegal, then it is fair to hold them to account. It is not fair to use their private life especially if they have been manipulated into it.
Well, you’d be sacked actually. ↩︎