Congressman quits House over flirt e-mail scandal

Republican congressman Chris Lee, 46, from New York state has resigned and media reports he flirted online with a woman whom he sent a shirtless photograph.

Lee, who has one son, was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2008.

In a statement on his website, he said he regretted harming his family, staff and constituents, adding: “I deeply and sincerely apologise to them all.”

Republicans gained control of the House in the November mid-term elections.

“The challenges we face in western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately,” Lee said.

Lee did not confirm the media reports or specify the reasons behind his resignation, other than acknowledging having “made profound mistakes”.

Lee also said he regretted harming his family, staff and constituents, adding, “I deeply and sincerely apologise to them all.”