Tuesday, January 26News For London

Theresa May under pressure to develop new guidelines in response to the growing Westminster abuse scandal

British Prime Minister Theresa May [Photo credit Wikimedia Commons]

A spreadsheet with a list of 36 ‘Sex Pest’ MPs has been published by leading right wing blog, Guido Fawkes.

Since the release of the spreadsheet Prime Minister Theresa May has called on leader of the Commons Speaker John Bercow to comment on the scandal and “ensure the reputation of Parliament is not damaged further by allegations of impropriety.”

May in her letter to Bercow described the current system for dealing with complaints surrounding sexual allegations as lacking the “required teeth” and that the system is “simply not fair on staff, many of whom are young and in their first job post-education.”

May herself is calling for tougher and more efficient procedures when it comes to dealing with the sexual harassment of women working in Westminster. She is calling for a new mediation service and a contractually binding complaints procedure for the staff of MPs.

Labour’s MP John Mann also believes that current guidelines do not successfully deal with sexual abuse complaints. Mann told LBC that there was only one case in the past two years where police got involved and even then, no action was taken as the alleged assault took place abroad.

The story has resulted in a strong reaction from twitter. The Sanity Clause tweeted:

Iain MacLeod tweeted:

Ben Jennings posted a cartoon image relating to the Westminster scandal:

Former Downing Street director of communications, Katie Perrior spoke to Sky News. She said: “I think she’s right to speak to John Bercow the Speaker of the House of Commons about this, but it’s not all down to the Prime Minister just because she’s a female prime minister, it’s actually down to all party leaders.”

“There have been issues within the Liberal Democrats in the past, there’s been issues with the Labour Party.”

“So this isn’t just confined to the Conservatives, this isn’t just about the Prime Minister or her Cabinet or backbench MPs. This is across parliament.”

The story is still developing and it will be interesting to see how May responds to the building pressures being placed on her.