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Tory MP targeted in sexting scam resigns as vice-chairman of 1922 Committee

William Wragg (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)
William Wragg (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

A Tory MP has resigned as vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee amid a backlash over his admission that he shared other politicians’ personal numbers with a suspected scammer who he met on a dating app.

William Wragg has also stepped back from his role heading the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC).

Mr Wragg admitted last week that he had given colleagues’ phone numbers to someone on a dating app amid fears that intimate images of himself would be leaked after he was targeted in a parliamentary sexting scam.

Scotland Yard has said it is investigating reports of the so-called “honey trap” scam after it was suggested that at least 12 men in political circles received unsolicited messages, raising security concerns.

Luke Evans
Luke Evans (David Woolfall/UK Parliament/PA)

After Mr Wragg’s revelations in The Times, Luke Evans, Conservative MP for Bosworth, claimed he had been the victim of “cyber flashing” and was the member who alerted police to the issue.

In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, Dr Evans said: “The first set of messages I got was on a day I was with my wife, and I got a one-time open photo on WhatsApp of an explicit image of a naked lady. As soon as I got these, the next day I reported it to the police, the authorities and the chief whip.

“Ten days later I got another set of messages. This time, however, I was sitting with my team in the constituency office, so we were able to record the conversation and catch photos and videos of the messages coming through including another explicit female image.”

The unknown scammer is said to have used the aliases “Charlie” and “Abi” while sending flirtatious messages to coax MPs into sending explicit pictures.

Mr Wragg said he was sorry for his “weakness” in responding, an apology which was praised as “courageous and fulsome” by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg
Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg (Victoria Jones/PA)

But pressure has mounted in recent days amid concerns over parliamentary security, with critics from across the political divide questioning Mr Wragg’s behaviour.

Speaking on GB News, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said Mr Wragg had “always been willing to throw stones” at others and asked whether he should keep his parliamentary roles after falling for a “pretty obvious honey trap”.

Nadine Dorries, another ally of Boris Johnson who insists he was toppled by a shadowy Conservative cabal, suggested the MP for Hazel Grove in Greater Manchester had been protected by “Tory high command” for political reasons.

In an article for Mail+, she alluded to Mr Wragg’s criticism of the former prime minister during the final days of his premiership after the scandal involving former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, who allegedly groped two men while drunk.

“When, on the rare occasion, his name has popped up in the media, it’s been because he’s a) being disloyal, b) complaining that the whips are bullying him, or c) attempting to remove a ­sitting prime minister,” Ms Dorries said.

Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“I have always believed the ­deviousness of Wragg runs deep — a Gollum-like character since the day he arrived in Westminster in 2015.”

She suggested people close to Mr Wragg had wanted to oust Mr Pincher “because he was a loyal ­supporter of Boris Johnson” and “an experienced Westminster operator”.

Tory MP Dame Andrea Jenkyns, another Johnson supporter, branded Mr Wragg an “idiot” for “compromising security” as she revealed she had also been targeted with a spear-phishing text.

“I too received the WhatsApp & reported it,” she wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“It was worded identical mentioning ‘Conference’. Unlike some MPs I am not happy with #Wragg as a mother with a young child who only recently had threats, it’s unforgivable of him to compromise the security of fellow MPs. Action is needed!”

Mr Wragg has written to the Speaker saying that he wishes to resign from his role leading PACAC and arrangements for the election of a new chair will be announced when the House returns after Easter recess, the Commons said.

The MP has been contacted for comment.