MP Brooks Newmark ‘battling demons’

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Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A disgraced Conservative MP embroiled in an internet sex scandal has told how he has been “battling demons” and is seeking psychiatric help after a second woman claimed he had sent her risque pictures.

Brooks Newmark, who founded the Women2Win campaign group, quit as minister for civil society last month when it emerged he had forwarded explicit photographs of himself and announced last night he was standing down from parliament as fresh claims surfaced.

The American-born MP for Braintree admitted to the Mail on Sunday that he had “craved adrenaline and risk” and blamed stress at work for driving him to “increasingly erratic behaviour”.

He will now go into residential psychiatric care for the next few weeks.

In an article for the newspaper, he wrote: “In response to what seems to be a new text-and-tell story I am standing down as an MP at the next election.

“I was the man who had everything … Now my political career is in ruins.

“I have traumatised my family and let down my constituents and my colleagues. Many will regard me as a failure 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.

“Stress at work drove me to increasingly erratic behaviour. My friends warned me that I was cracking up. I ignored them. 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.

“When a newspaper exposed one of these episodes – involving a male freelance reporter using stolen pictures to impersonate a young female Conservative Party activist – I stood down as a minister.

“Now, in response to what seems to be a new text-and-tell story, I am standing down as an MP at the next election. I want to concentrate on slaying those demons – making me, I hope, a better husband and father, and giving me a chance to contribute in some way to the country in future.”

He added: “I will be beginning residential psychiatric treatment for the next few weeks in the hope that professional help will enable me to salvage my life and my family.”

Mr Newmark resigned his ministerial post after just weeks into the job when it emerged that he had exchanged suggestive pictures over the internet with a reporter posing as a young Tory PR woman.

After fresh allegations emerged yesterday he wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron to announce he would quit as an MP at the general election next May.

“The continued media intrusion into past episodes in my personal life is placing an intolerable burden on my family. I have therefore decided to stand down at the general election. I will continue to serve my constituents to the best of my abilities until that time,” he wrote.

Mr Newmark was caught in a Sunday Mirror sting involving a “honey trap” operation that used a fictitious party activist called “Sophie Wittam” to flirt with MPs via social media.

The 56-year-old married father of five tendered his resignation after learning that the newspaper was about to publish details of their exchanges.

His disgrace came just hours after Mark Reckless announced he was defecting from the Tories to Ukip, landing a double blow on Mr Cameron on the eve of the Conservative Party conference.

But the methods used in the investigation have since been criticised and former judge Sir Alan Moses, the chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), said the matter was of “urgent public concern”.

The Sunday Mirror has insisted the story was in the public interest; however, it has apologised to a woman whose photo was used as part of the operation without her knowledge.

Swedish model Malin Sahlen said she was “shocked” that her picture had been used to attract MPs.

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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