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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Bad day for Cameron: Minister quits over 'explicit photos' and MP defects to UKIP

Mark Reckless is the second MP to defect to UKIP in the space of two months.

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 7.27pm

A British minister announced his unexpected resignation as a newspaper reported he sent an explicit photo of himself online, in the latest setback to David Cameron’s Conservative-led government.

“I have decided to resign as Minister for Civil Society having been notified of a story to be published in a Sunday newspaper,” said Brooks Newmark, a Conservative member of parliament since 2005.

“I would like to appeal for the privacy of my family to be respected at this time. I remain a loyal supporter of this government as its long-term economic plan continues to deliver for the British people,” Newmark said.

The Sunday Mirror reported that Newmark exchanged a series of ‘sexually explicit photos online’ with a freelance reporter who was posing as a young female activist.

MP Brooks Newmark resigns Brooks Newmark Source: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In a private message conversation on a social networking site, Newmark “sent a graphic picture exposing himself while wearing a pair of paisley pyjamas” the tabloid newspaper reported.

The then-minister also invited the reporter to meet with him during the Conservative party conference that begins on Sunday, when the party will set out its case for re-election in the May 2015 election.

“The prime minister has accepted Brooks Newmark’s resignation from his role as Minister for Civil Society. His replacement will be announced shortly,” Cameron’s office said in a statement.

It was the second blow to the prime minister on the eve of the conference, following the defection of a Conservative lawmaker to eurosceptic party UKIP earlier today.

“The leadership of the Conservative Party is part of the problem that is holding our country back,” said Mark Reckless, saying they were breaking their election pledges.

Ukip annual conference 2014 Mark Reckless Source: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

“Today I am leaving the Conservative Party and joining UKIP,” said the 43-year-old, sparking jubilation at the conference in Doncaster, northern England.

The defection comes just one month after fellow Conservative backbencher Douglas Carswell also left Cameron’s centre-right party for the anti-European Union, anti-immigration UKIP.

© – AFP 2014

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