Why MP sent sex texts to two women
EAST Staffordshire MP Andrew Griffiths has released a personal, detailed statement after revealing he spent a month in a psychiatric hospital following a breakdown – and thought about suicide after he was exposed for sending a series of sex texts to two barmaids.
The revelations led to an outcry locally and nationally for him to resign. He apologised but said he wanted to stay on as MP. He did, however, resign as Small Business Minister.
The MP, 48, married with a baby daughter, spoke at the weekend saying he had been abused and had spent 31 days in a psychiatric hospital after the story broke in July. He said: “It was after three weeks of a 31-day stay in a mental health hospital that the enormity of my public shaming began to seep in through.
“The texts resulted in my resignation from my dream job as a minister, the destruction of a hardearned reputation earned over 30 years of public service, and, most painful of all, the public humiliation of a wife and family I love dearly. But it was an exposé that may have saved my life.
“Only now do I feel well enough to talk about the events. I owe it to my constituents and all those who have put their faith in me to explain these actions. My battle with my own mental health has been ongoing for decades. The roots were in my childhood.
“However, until my collapse, I had never admitted to anyone the reality of my early years. In treatment, I confided for the first time that, as a child, I was abused by an older boy on a number of occasions. He would invite me to play in his garage and abuse me. My prize the first time was a used Liverpool FC Subbuteo team.”
Mr Griffiths said when he was seven, his dad, a Tory councillor for 34 years, and Mayor of Dudley, had his first of five heart attacks. “Public service was ingrained in me.
“At 14 I performed CPR I learned at school on dad. I was 25 when he died. And at 29, without any warning, my mother had collapsed with a heart attack and died. Alone, I dealt with the loss. Mum and I were incredibly close. “One in seven in our country have a mental health crisis but few are as public as mine. I was happier than I had ever been: a dream job, a loving wife, a newborn baby we had yearned for.
“Yet my mind was at breaking point. The hours and the pressure were relentless but I told everyone I thrived on it. I spent my eight years as an MP living in a hotel opposite Parliament during the week. Weekends would involve a regular schedule of surgery and constituency appointments. “But in April our lives were completed by the birth of a gorgeous little girl. The pain of being unable to conceive had brought on what I now admit was depression. The prospect of my daughter going through what I went through filled me with terror. Then my brother told me he had been diagnosed with cancer.
“Two days later, my mind in turmoil, I sent the first text that led to my downfall. I wasn’t in my right mind.”
“I hope that my constituents and the public will understand my collapse and... the impact mental health can have, and allow me to rebuild my life and return to a job I love. And my hope, above all else, is to be allowed to continue my work, and to make my wife and daughter proud of me again.”
My hope is to be allowed to continue my work, and to make my family proud of me again
Andrew Griffiths MP
Andrew Griffiths MP