"The allegations made in today’s Telegraph are deeply hurtful and unjustified. However, my Constituents rightly want reassurance and the truth. This is why I have referred this to the Commissioner. I am confident that he will confirm that I have done nothing wrong. That said, I am very conscious that the allegations and investigation will cause great distress to my family and friends. These allegations also run the risk of harming my local party and our national party’s chances of winning at the next General Election. In the circumstances I have reluctantly concluded that it is sensible for me not to seek re-election next year."
This followed an interview earlier today with Conservative chief whip Patrick McLoughlin. Mr Wilshire clearly believes he is in the right but has fallen on his political sword to save embarrassment to the party. Was he pushed or did he jump? I have no idea, but there will be many people in Tory High Command who breathed a sigh of relief when they heard about his decision. It's rare for enquiries by the Standards Commissioner to be completed very quickly and the last thing they will have wanted is something like this hanging over the party in the runup to an election.
Was David Wilshire right to stand down? Yes, I believe he was. Frankly, he had little alternative. Whatever your views on what provoked his departure, at least he didn't prolong the party's agony.
UPDATE: Paul Waugh recounts the day.