There are doubtless a lot of men out there who are saying “Brooks Newmark, you disgust me!” but who would also have been caught in the trap…

of course, the man has been a fool and now that he has been caught (or trapped), it is right that he has resigned and perhaps his keeping his seat in The Commons is an untenable position but I am uncomfortable about how this has happened…

he has not walked into a ‘real’ situation and been caught, this is entrapment, a sting. If you put a delicious enough bait on the end of a sleazy hack’s fishing hook, even the most moral, principled man, or woman, can be caught.

I believe that I would have walked away from the trap and, I repeat, I am not condoning his conduct, he has been a fool and he has exercised extremely bad judgement, he has dropped his family right in it but what has happened is that a weak man has been pushed and prodded into a fake situation which would have ruined many of those attacking him today. He has not been caught kerb crawling, he has not been caught fiddling his expenses, he has not been caught drink-driving….he is the victim, yes, the victim, of a sting! I say again that his punishment, his public shaming, is a disproportionate punishment and the Sunday Mirror has rode roughshod over the man’s wife and children.