Published on 17 Jun 2011 Sections ,

US congressman Weiner quits in lewd photo scandal

US congressman Anthony Weiner announces his resignation while facing hecklers at a raucous press conference, ending weeks of scandal after he sent lewd photos of himself to women online.

Ending weeks of scandal, the US representative resigned on Thursday after facing humiliation for pictures he posted online.

The Democrat said the “distraction” he had created made it impossible to carry on with his constituency job.

“I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district had elected me to do – to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it,” Weiner told reporters.

“Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible, so today I am announcing my resignation from Congress,” he said.

He apologised to his wife – who returned form an overseas work trip with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday – and thanked her for standing by him.

Weiner was repeatedly heckled at the podium as he read out his statement at the Brooklyn centre where he first announced plans to run for New York City Council 20 years ago.

The congressman has faced mounting pressure to resign. On Tuesday President Obama told an interview with ABC Weiner had “embarrassed his wife and his family”.

“If it was me, I would resign,” Obama said.

Weiner’s resignation came after he accidently posted a picture publicly on Twitter of his underpants.

The congressman denied for more than a week that he sent a photo of himself in boxers to a woman in Seattle on 28 May, claiming his Twitter account had been hacked. But on 6 June, he admitted he had lied and had inappropriate exchanges with six women, some after he was married.

Since then, more lewd pictures of Weiner have surfaced, making him daily fodder for tabloids and late-night comedians.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Weiner’s fall “a lost opportunity” that was “tragic”.

Weiner, 46, has represented parts of New York City in the House of Representatives since his first election in 1998. He had established himself as a leading liberal voice in the House and easily won a seventh two-year term last November.

Democrats feared that Weiner had become a political liability to their efforts to win back the House from Republicans in next year’s elections. Weiner had also been seen as a strong contender for New York mayor in 2013.