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8 September 2019, 06:34
An MP who bombarded two young women with lewd text messages has been cleared of wrongdoing by the parliamentary standards watchdog.
Married father Andrew Griffiths, 48, resigned as small business minister last July after it was revealed he had sent 2,000 sexual texts to barmaid Imogen Treharne and a friend in just 21 days, weeks after the birth of his first child.
The watchdog said it had not found evidence the Burton and Uttoxeter MP sent the messages while he would have been engaged parliamentary activities and allegations he breached the House of Commons Code of Conduct were not upheld.
Mr Griffiths is said to have bombarded Ms Treharne, 28, and her friend with messages in which he referred to himself as "Daddy" and asked for explicit photos.
A resolution letter said: "Mr Griffiths' conduct has undoubtedly damaged his own reputation, as well as his health and family relationships.
"However damaging these events have been for Mr Griffths personally, I am not persuaded that the texts he exchanged with the two women have caused significant damage to the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally."
First elected in 2010, Mr Griffiths was appointed to the small business role last January, having been a Government whip from July 2016.
Among his activities as a minister, he led the Government's response to findings of the Hampton-Alexander Review into gender equality at the top of business.
He also launched a campaign to encourage more fathers to take paternity leave.