Neil Parish: Stephen Fry and David Baddiel among celebrities to mock Neil Parish over tractor excuse for watching porn

Neil Parish has resigned as an MP after watching porn in the House of Commons – and many have taken to social media to crack jokes about his tractor-related explanation.

Parish – the MP for Tiverton and Honiton in east Devon – admitted that he had looked at adult material twice, and that the second occasion was deliberate.

Speaking to the BBC, he said that initially he had stumbled across the website while looking for information about tractors, but later returned deliberately to the website. And he admitted: “I was not proud of what I was doing.”

The 65-year-old former farmer said: “The situation was that, funnily enough, it was tractors I was looking at and I did get into another website that had a sort of very similar name.

“And I watched it for a bit, which I shouldn’t have done.”

Parish said that the first occasion occurred in the Commons chamber, but he later deliberately went back to the same site while in the adjoining voting lobby. But he insisted that he never did it with the intention that women MPs would see the footage.

“My crime – my biggest crime is that on another occasion – I went in a second time,” he said. “That was deliberate.”

Stephen Fry was quick to laugh at the latest development in the story, posting a link to a tractor-related website on Twitter, with the caption: “I shouldn’t click on this, but I can’t help myself…”

David Baddiel, meanwhile, tweeted: “‘Funnily enough, it was tractors I was looking at,’ is, I hope, going to become a national catchphrase.”

He then shared a video of Parish’s interview comparing it to Little Britain, and posted another tweet about a touchy-feely children’s book about tractors.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

Richard Osman pointed out: “‘Tory Neil Parish’ is an anagram of ‘parties hornily’. The clues were all there.”

See the best of the rest of the reactions below…

Parish’s resignation came amid growing criticism for the Conservative Party’s slow response to a scandal.

His name was passed to chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris on Tuesday evening (26 April) by two female Tory MPs who witnessed him viewing porn. But there was no announcement of any action in the case until the afternoon of the following day when the story reached the press.

Heaton-Harris initially referred the case to parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, which deals with allegations of harassment and bullying from MPS and parliamentary staff.

It was not until three days after the initial complaint – during which time other MPs found themselves the subject of inaccurate Westminster rumours about the identity of the culprit – that Parish was finally named and referred himself to a standards investigation.

Leave a Comment