WESTMINSTER is in the grip of a most peculiar scandal in which an MP sent photographs of himself to a man he had met on a gay dating website and then, we he feared he might be blackmailed, he divulged the telephone numbers of some of his Parliamentary colleagues and media contacts who were then themselves targeted with salacious messages.

It would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

It shows how far standards have slipped. Once someone wishing to entrap an MP and gain kompromat on them had to work hard with an elaborate set up and then sit for hours with a long camera lens. Now a couple of saucy messages and an MP is willing to take compromising pictures of himself!

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has commended the backbench MP, William Wragg, for making a “courageous and fulsome” apology, but if you had behaved in this way at work, giving out contact details of your colleagues to someone with malice aforethought, do you think you would receive a pat on the back?

We elect our MPs to consider the weightiest issues of the day on our behalf and then use their judgement. Should we continue to sell arms to Israel? How can we improve the NHS so that 250 people a week are not dying unnecessarily due to long waits in A&E? What contracts can be brought forward to prevent a train-building factory from shutting?

Should I send incriminating pictures of myself to someone I do not know must surely have a blindingly obvious answer.

Perhaps Mr Wragg, by exhibiting his complete lack of judgement, has accidentally performed a valuable service: if you receive a strange message asking for your bank account details or for a picture of your nether regions, just say no and press delete.