Westminster Sexual Harassment – zero tolerance – sleazy, oppressive

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Westminster Sexual Harassment – tough action taken within days not weeks

The message was clear at Westminster.  It began and came from the top.

Commons Speaker John Bercow said there must be “zero tolerance” of sexual harassment in Parliament. House of Commons had a duty to provide a safe place to work.

Claims about inappropriate behaviour by MPs were “disturbing”. Bercow urged all parties to enact “credible and transparent” complaints procedures.

Not far behind the Speaker were ministers who promised speedy action.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom told MPs that everyone “had to a right to feel at ease” working in Parliament.

Action to set up independent procedures were “needed within days not weeks”.

In a statement, she said recent allegations against MPs “risked bringing all our offices into disrepute”.

She confirmed that the Cabinet Office was investigating specific allegations about whether individuals had broken the ministerial code. Leadsom urged the most serious allegations to be referred to the police.

Harriet Harman Labour MP spoke of how no woman or man for that matter should be subjected to unwanted sexual advances. She referred to those in a position of power

The Labour MP called for an end to the “sleazy, oppressive” culture in Westminster. She told MPs that those with grievances must have their anonymity protected.

“This is not hysteria. This is something that has been long overdue for all parties to deal with.”

But the House of Commons statement puts an end to such behaviour.

No more bullying.

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