A former MP who resigned after watching pornography in the Commons has not ruled out running against his old Tory colleagues in the by-election triggered by his resignation.
Neil Parish admitted he had twice watched porn on the Commons benches.
The 65-year-old, a farmer by trade, claimed the first time was accidental after looking at tractors online, but the second was “a moment of madness”.
In an interview with The Telegraph as he left Westminster, he said he could rely on his support in the farming community to run as an independent in the upcoming vote in the constituency of Tiverton and Honiton in Devon.
“It is an option for me and one I could consider, the only thing that may well stop me is the fact that my local party, my local activists, my local councillors, all which are friends, I don’t know if I want to do that to them,” Mr Parish told the Chopper’s Politics podcast.
“Some of the hierarchy of my own party I suppose I wouldn’t have the same problem in doing it. At the moment I’m taking soundings. I can raise the money, yeah, yeah.
“I don’t think I would have any problem in doing all that. I’ve got some quite powerful backers in the farming community.
“I don’t think I’m going there – but it is an option.”
Mr Parish said he had increased the Conservatives’ majority in the seat since he was elected in 2010, but said he needed to “lick his wounds”.
“Neil Parish wants to go home and lick his wounds and also give time to let the shock of what I’ve done pass,” he said.
“I’ll breed some more cattle, probably Herefords or Devons, my wife and I are talking about we’re great dog lovers so we might breed a few puppies.”
Mr Parish, who resigned after two women MPs saw him watching porn in the Commons, also sought to defend his record amid allegations of misogyny and sexual misconduct in Westminster.
“One ridiculous point from me to get myself into this situation is if you ask people, you’ll find no friendlier and nicer MP,” he said.
“I never accosted women, I never suggested anything – I might have jokes with them, but that’s all.”