Braintree MP Brooks Newmark has issued an apology after being caught in a social media sex scandal.

The 56 year old married father-of-five was forced to quit his job as a government minister on Saturday after sending a sexually explicit photo of himself to an undercover reporter.

The American-born Conservative politician resigned ahead of a Sunday Mirror article which contained lurid allegations about his online conduct.

Mr Newmark said: “I have no one to blame but myself for falling for this tabloid sting. What I did was wrong and I am sorry for the pain and shame I have caused my family, my friends and my constituents.

“I have been a complete fool and deeply regret my behaviour. I hope people will give me the time to try to heal the enormous hurt I have caused Lucy and my children. I hope with time I will be forgiven.“

Mr Newmark then added: “Yes, I will be remaining as an MP.”

Mr Newmark was only promoted in July to his role as Minister for Civil Society, which he called “the nicest job in politics".

His resignation caused a headache for David Cameron as it came just hours after the MP for Rochester and Strood, Mark Reckless, defected to UKIP.