Neil Parish: Porn-watching former MP may stand in by-election

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Image caption,
Neil Parish was first elected as an MP in 2010

The former Conservative MP who stood down after he admitted watching pornography in Parliament has said he is considering seeking re-election.

Neil Parish was MP for the Tiverton and Honiton constituency in Devon for 12 years, but resigned after twice viewing porn on his phone in the chamber.

The 65-year-old said he would stand as an independent candidate if he contested the upcoming by-election.

He told the BBC he had not yet decided whether to run.

Mr Parish said: "I'm still taking soundings and haven't made my mind up yet either way".

He previously said he accidentally viewed the porn video in the Commons when browsing for tractors, before later doing so deliberately in the chamber.

After the incident, he said: "I was wrong, I was stupid, I lost sense of mind," and described it as a "moment of madness".

'Powerful backers'

Mr Parish, who is a farmer by trade, told the Telegraph he could rely on his support in the farming community by running as an independent in the up-coming vote.

"It is an option for me and one I could consider," he told the Chopper's Politics podcast.

"The only thing that may well stop me is the fact that my local party, my local activists, my local councillors, all which are friends, I don't know if I want to do that to them."

He said he would be able to raise the necessary funds to contest the by-election.

"I've got some quite powerful backers in the farming community," said Mr Parish.

"I don't think I'm going there - but it is an option."

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