Scots Tory quits over Brazilian male escort

Mark Menzies. Picture: PA
Mark Menzies. Picture: PA
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A SCOTTISH Conservative MP who resigned as a ministerial aide after claims made by a Brazilian male escort was last night said to be considering his ­answer to the allegations.

Mark Menzies, 42, quit as a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to International Development Minister Alan Duncan following a Sunday Mirror investigation into his personal life.

The paper reported a series of allegations about Mr Menzies’ private life which it said had been made by the Brazilian man, including claims that the MP paid him for sex.

The MP for the Fylde, was yesterday in his constituency home in St Annes on the Fylde coast in Lancashire.

He said: “I have decided to resign as a PPS after a series of ­allegations were made against me in a Sunday newspaper.

“A number of these allegations are not true and I look forward to setting the record straight in due course.”

Yesterday, a senior Tory in Fylde said the MP was considering his response.

Councillor Brenda Ackers, the chairwoman of Fylde Conservatives until Friday evening when, in an unrelated event, she stepped down from the position, said: “He’s obviously very shocked and needs time to consider his answer to these ­allegations.

“He has the total support of myself and two other members of the management team.

“The wider membership has not been spoken to. I think probably a lot of them don’t know anything yet.”

Asked how members will react, Ms Ackers said: “Very upset I imagine, both on Mark’s behalf and the fact that we like things to run smoothly in Fylde.”

Ms Ackers said she, “can’t possibly predict” how voters would view the allegations.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said it was “very sad” when people’s personal lives ­impacted on their careers.

He said: “This is a personal matter for the individual concerned. I have not read the front page of the [Sunday] Mirror this morning.

“It’s always very sad when people are involved in personal issues that impact on their ­careers but that’s a matter for the person concerned.”

Tory MP David Ruffley said: “I think that 30 years ago it would be automatic resignation if an MP was in a difficulty like this.”

He added: “It’s always sad when a career like this gets on to the front page of a tabloid. But government rocked? I don’t think so.”

Mr Menzies was elected in 2010 and was swiftly promoted to be a ministerial aide, serving former energy minister Charles Hendry and former housing minister Mark Prisk ­before ­taking up his role with Mr ­Duncan.

He grew up in Ardrossan, Ayrshire and studied economics and social history at Glasgow University before embarking on a career in retail.