Tory MP who bombarded women with 'daddy' text messages has whip restored 2 years ago

Tory MP who bombarded women with 'daddy' text messages has whip restored

He has been reinstated ahead of Theresa May's leadership vote...

Former small business minister Andrew Griffiths, who was forced to resign the Conservative party earlier this year after bombarding two women with 2,000 sexts, has had the Tory whip restored ahead of Theresa May's leadership challenge.

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The married Conservative MP for Burton and Uttoxeter - who became a father in April - sent 2,000 texts to two barmaids over a series of three weeks, which included telling them “Daddy’s busy running the country” and "Take off the bra and panties… you’ve got Daddy in such a frenzy".

However, with Theresa May's leadership in crisis, he has been welcomed back to the party. It emerged on Wednesday morning that the threshold of 48 Tory MPs submitting letters of no confidence had been reached, triggering a Conservative party confidence vote.

All serving Tory MPs - a list which now includes Griffiths - will be able to cast a vote either for or against May tonight and the prime minister will need the backing of at least 159 of them to survive.

Speaking this morning, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee, said: “The votes will be counted immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible in the evening."

The ballot will be held between 6pm and 8pm, Brady added, with votes counted "immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible". It is expected the announcement will come around 9pm tonight.

If she receives their backing, she will remain prime minister and another contest cannot be triggered for at least a year.

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If she loses, Graham Brady will invite nominations for May's replacement. Candidates need two nominations to stand and Theresa May would not be allowed to run as a candidate.