Sexting MP Andrew Griffiths faces fresh calls to step down

image source, UK Parliament
image captionMP Andrew Griffiths faces fresh calls to stand down as an MP

A former minister at the centre of a sexting scandal has faced fresh calls to step down as an MP.

Andrew Griffiths resigned as small business minister after a newspaper published lewd text messages sent to two barmaids by the married politician.

Members of the Burton and Uttoxeter MP's local Conservative association met on Monday night to discuss his future.

Mr Griffiths, who did not attend the meeting, has been contacted by the BBC for comment.

More than 100 members attended the East Staffordshire Conservative Association meeting, and were told no decision on Mr Griffiths' future would be made until the outcome of an independent investigation was completed.

'Dreadful situation'

Speaking outside the meeting, Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins told the BBC: "He's in a difficult position at the moment.

"There's his wife and child to think about and the girls that were involved as well.

"So it's a dreadful situation to be in."

Gary Raybould, a Tory councillor for Tutbury, said: "There's only one outcome. He has to step down for the sake of the Conservative Party.

"At the end of the day that's a hard decision for him, a hard decision for the members for all the good he's done.

"If he does that it'll be the right thing to do."

image source, PA
image captionAndrew Griffiths has apologised for the "distress" he has caused his wife

David Brookes, a county councillor for Uttoxeter, added: "The investigation has got to be allowed to be carried out, but it must not be a lengthy investigation.

"We do need to have an early conclusion."

The contents of messages sent by Mr Griffiths were revealed in the Sunday Mirror last month.

Mr Griffiths apologised for the "deep embarrassment" caused to the prime minister and the government, in a statement made to the newspaper.

The MP had been following the two women on Snapchat for six months before making contact in June.

He reportedly sent the pair more than 2,000 messages in three weeks.

Mr Griffiths, 47, an MP since 2010, became a father in April when his wife gave birth to a baby girl.

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