UK Parliament an unsafe workplace due to sexual misconduct by MPs, say unions

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Updated: Jul 05, 2022, 04:28 PM(IST)

The Speaker of the Parliament, Lindsay Hoyle, was requested by Unions with more than 1,000 parliamentary workers to take strict action against Christ Pincher over the sexual misconduct allegations. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

With rising cases of misconduct against MPs, Labour MP Luke Pollar commented that Parliament is "not a safe place to work with the seemingly endless list of allegations of sexual misconduct by MPs"

Two leading unions have warned the UK Parliament to make efforts to stop the allegedly endless row of sexual misconduct allegations against MPs that have made political parties untrustworthy of making the Parliament a safe workplace, The Guardian reported.

The Speaker of the Parliament, Lindsay Hoyle, was requested by Unions with more than 1,000 parliamentary workers to take strict action against Christ Pincher over the sexual misconduct allegations.

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With rising cases of misconduct against MPs, Labour MP Luke Pollar commented that Parliament is "not a safe place to work with the seemingly endless list of allegations of sexual misconduct by MPs."

Chris Pincher, who is accused of groping two men in a London private members' club, resigned last week after reports of his behaviour came to light.

Boris Johnson previously promoted the MP to deputy chief whip in charge of the welfare of colleagues in February despite knowing about the allegations against Pincher. 

After continual pressure, Johnson's spokesperson admitted on Monday that he was aware of general speculation. 

"He had known of concerns about Pincher that were "either resolved or did not proceed to a formal complaint," No 10 finally conceded.

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The Guardian also quoted a BBC report which claimed that the prime minister was made aware of the fact that Pincher was being investigated for inappropriate behaviour at the Foreign Office as a minister in 2019-20 after the complaint was filed.

When a Government spokesperson was asked about allegations against Pincher when he was at the Foreign Office, he did not deny it.

"There are robust procedures in place for any members of staff to raise allegations of misconduct. It is longstanding policy not to comment on any matters involving individual cases," The Guardian quoted the spokesperson.

Apart from the Carlton club incident involving Pincher, there were five previous sexual misconduct scandals involving Tory MPs in this Parliament, resulting in pressure upon the Prime Minister to clean up his party's culture.

The Tory MPs involved in such scandals include Neil Parish, who is accused of watching porn in the Commons; Imran Ahmad Khan, convicted of sexual assault against a child; and David Warburton, still being investigated by Parliament's watchdog for three allegations of sexual misconduct towards women.

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Additionally, last month, an unnamed Tory MP was also arrested on suspicion of rape and other sexual offences.

With all these cases at hand, the Speaker, Hoyle, has been urged by the FDA and Prospect to act by looking at reform of Parliament's approach to sexual misconduct in his forthcoming Speaker's conference.

(with inputs from agencies)

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