England

MP Andrew Griffiths cleared over sex texts to two women

Andrew Griffiths Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Andrew Griffiths stood down as small business minister last summer

A Conservative MP who sent sexual messages to two barmaids has been cleared of wrongdoing by the parliamentary standards watchdog.

Andrew Griffiths, 48, resigned as small business minister last July after the messages were published in a newspaper.

The watchdog said it found no evidence he sent them while he would have been engaged in parliamentary activities.

Allegations he breached the House of Commons Code of Conduct were not upheld, it added.

An party investigation into the married MP for Burton and Uttoxeter found in November he may have breached the Conservatives' code of conduct.

'Damaged reputation'

But, "given his state of mental health both now and at the time", it concluded further action would be inappropriate.

Mr Griffiths reportedly sent the women more than 2,000 messages in 21 days, weeks after the birth of his first child.

A resolution letter from the watchdog said: "Mr Griffiths' conduct has undoubtedly damaged his own reputation, as well as his health and family relationships.

"However damaging these events have been for Mr Griffiths personally, I am not persuaded that the texts he exchanged with the two women have caused significant damage to the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally."

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