Former charities minister Brooks Newmark to stand down as MP after further newspaper allegations

The Conservative MP for Braintree says he will not contest the next election after The Sun on Sunday published new allegations about his private life

Brooks Newmark
Brooks Newmark

Brooks Newmark, the former Minister for Civil Society, is to stand down as an MP at the next election after further allegations about his private life were published in national newspapers.

Over the weekend, The Sun on Sunday said it had discovered that Newmark had sent "X-rated pictures of himself" to a young mother, and in today’s Sun newspaper it is also alleged that he had a two-year affair with another woman whom he met on Facebook. The Conservative MP for Braintree is said to have sent the second women "lots of nude photos" over the past year.

Last month, Newmark stepped down as civil society minister after he sent an explicit picture of himself to a freelance reporter posing as a "twenty-something Tory PR girl". That story was published in the Sunday Mirror.

Rob Wilson, the Conservative MP for Reading East, was appointed as Newmark’s replacement as Minister for Civil Society.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday yesterday, Newmark, who is married and has five children, said he would stand down as an MP at the next election and seek psychiatric treatment for his problems.

He wrote in an article in The Mail on Sunday: "In response to what seems to be a new text-and-tell story, I am standing down as an MP at the next election."

He said that his political career was in "ruins" and he had traumatised his family and let down his constituents and his colleagues. "Many will regard me as a failure," he wrote. "And it is true: behind the outward facade of success and achievement, I have been battling demons – and losing to them. I craved adrenaline and risk."

He said that stress at work drove his increasingly erratic behaviour. "Late at night, I began a series of flirtations in response to approaches from women on social media. Deep inside, I knew I was playing with fire. Now it has consumed me and my family."

He said that he would now concentrate on "slaying those demons" and will begin residential psychiatric treatment. He said: "I would like to use this terrible moment in my life to appeal to others who are ashamed of their mental ill-health to seek help before it is too late."

He said that he would look back with pride on his campaign to reduce youth unemployment, setting up an education charity in Rwanda and his efforts to encourage women into public life.

Last month, the Independent Press Standards Organisation said that it would investigate whether the Sunday Mirror had used entrapment to obtain the original article about Newmark. But Newmark said in The Mail on Sunday article that he did not "blame the media for his downfall" and it was "for others to judge their behaviour and their ethics". 

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