Former pub champion quits over sex messages to bar staff

By Claire Churchard contact

- Last updated on GMT

Explicit messages: Andrew Griffiths MP was appointed small business minister in January 2018
Explicit messages: Andrew Griffiths MP was appointed small business minister in January 2018

Related tags: Andrew griffiths, Beer tax

Vocal pub campaigner MP Andrew Griffiths has quit his post as small business minister after allegedly propositioning female bar staff in his constituency via social media.

Details of the sexually explicit messages and requests for videos and photos from married Griffiths, described as “vile” by the recipients, were revealed in an exclusive Sunday Mirror​ interview with one of the women involved.

The Sunday Mirror​ reported claims by Imogen Treharne, and a second unnamed bar worker, that Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter,​ had sent them £700 and offered to rent a flat where they could meet for sex as well as sending more than 2,000 messages in June and early July. He is reported to have described degrading sex acts in graphic detail over social media, while going about his work at parliament and not long after his wife had given birth to their first child in April.

Griffiths announced his resignation from his ministerial job on Friday night before the exposé was published.

Pub sector champion 

He is known in the pub industry for leading the successful cross-industry campaign to abolish the beer tax escalator and has championed pub business causes as an MP and chair of the parliamentary beer group. He also set up the ‘women to win’ campaign to elect more female MPs and has criticised business leaders for failing to increase the number of women in boardroom roles.

In his resignation statement, he said he was “deeply ashamed” of his behaviour that has caused “untold distress to my wife and family to whom I owe everything”. He also expressed regret at the embarrassment he has caused the Prime Minister and the Government.

He said: “I do not seek to excuse my behaviour and will be seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again.”

Griffiths’ resignation is the latest from Theresa May’s Government, following high-profile exits by former Brexit minister David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who both quit over a disagreement about how to proceed with Brexit negotiations. Griffiths remains an MP but in his resignation statement, he said he has referred himself to the Conservative Party’s Code of Conduct procedures and that the Tory Whip has been withdrawn while the investigation is pending.

Related topics: Legislation

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