MALDON’S MP John Whittingdale admitted last week to having a relationship with a sex worker, and was also allegedly sharing confidential papers with former topless model Stephanie Hudson.

People of the Maldon District have had their say on the matter, with some expressing sympathy for Mr Whittingdale.

Ryan Douglas, 25, of Fambridge Road, said: “It’s his own life, and in our own lives we make mistakes. But the fact that he came clean I think draws a line under it. It will get quite overblown, which I can understand given his status, but the story doesn’t deserve to.

“He didn’t know, called it off when he found out, and has come clean, end of conversation.”

Lucy Forsythe, 42, of Wantz Road, said: “It’s hardly a surprising revelation, more and more people turn to sex work to help fund themselves, and the fact he met her over doesn’t surprise either.

“The reports about his sharing of confidential information I think need more clarification, but even if they aren’t true, this malarkey may dent Mr Whittingdale’s reputation, though I don’t think it deserves huge scrutiny.”

Dean Smith, 52, of Munden Road, said: “It’s certainly an embarrassing thing for his career, but the fact that he’s admitted gives me some respect for him. Although, if these reports of him sharing confidential information are true that could be a different matter, because that comes across as deeply irresponsible.”

Sarah Camble, 35, of Maldon Road, said: “I don’t like the fact that a local member of parliament has had dealings with a sex worker, but his story was that he had no idea about what she did and the moment he did find out he called it off.

“To me, he seems like the innocent party in the story, and that really should be all people should take away from it.”

Jenny Brown, 49, of Green Lane, said: “This is not worthy of a news story. It’s his own private life, and once exposed he admitted it straight away, that should be the end of it, but someone will always be there to milk the cow.

“In fairness, I’d rather the admission of a mistake than a cover up.”

Additionally, Burnham Town Councillor Tania Ward has also defended Mr Whittingdale, stating everyone is entitled to a private life.

She said: “Mr Wittingdale is certainly not the first person in history to find a relationship through a dating site. Once he found out her occupation as a dominatrix, he ended the relationship.

“But I ask you this - Since when did having such an occupation stop someone from the right to feel loved? Isn't that a basic desire we all have? I see no point in villainising someone for trying to find love.”