I have today, with great sadness, tendered my resignation as Member of Parliament for the City of Chester.
This follows publication of a report which had found me guilty of sexual misconduct.
From the start I accepted I had committed a minor breach of the code and had hoped that an honest and open approach would stand me in a fair light. This has proven not to be the case and I am dismayed that I have been found guilty of several allegations that I know to be untrue. Indeed my insistence on what I know to be true – that I had no sexual motivation in this matter - was held against me as a refusal to accept my guilt, and caused an increased sanction which I felt was disproportionate.
Despite provable factual inaccuracies in the sanctions report, my appeal against sanction was not even considered, for the same reason.
Therefore, I faced a suspension from the House of four weeks. Whilst I believe that this is an excessive and unfair penalty, I cannot challenge the process further. I believe that the honourable and right thing to do now is to resign my seat and seek to rebuild my life elsewhere. I would ask for privacy for my family. This matter has also caused a great toll on my health, requiring my hospitalisation, and I ask that my privacy is respected while I recover.
I will forever be grateful to my constituency, and my party, for giving me the honour to serve, and I apologise to the people of Chester, and to the House of Commons, for the disrepute I have brought. I once again apologise to the complainant in my case, for the hurt I have caused.