Why MP sent sex texts to two women

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - NEWS - By JENNY MOODY jen­nifer.moody@reach­plc.com

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

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