OF course, MP and whip Chris Pincher should have been suspended from the Conservative Party immediately his embarrassing drunken episode became known.

In any other walk of life, if you had been accused of a drunken sexual assault which was apparently witnessed by work colleagues, you would not be welcomed back at your desk the following morning. MPs should be no different.

This is third Conservative MP to be embroiled in sleazy sex story within months, and that is concerning. It is also concerning to learn that Mr Pincher freely admitted to the Prime Minister that he “drank far too much” on a work night. As we have seen with all the “partygate” stories where drinking in Downing Street seems to have been positively encouraged, there is a worrying alcohol culture at the heart of our government.

Surely we should expect our MPs, our members of the government and our civil servants to be sober and not hungover when they are representing us.

This is not Mr Pincher’s first brush with notoriety – he resigned as a whip in 2017 after alleged unsolicited approaches, and there must now be questions of the judgement of Boris Johnson in allowing him back. There must also be questions about the party that tried to help him save his own skin rather than to tackle whatever demons possess him.

This is the latest in a string of sordid incidents that is undermining the reputation of Mr Johnson’s government.