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:
It can’t be beyond this country to find 650 honest, decent, capable people to represent us in #Westminster
Maybe they start well then stray
— The Sanity Clause ❄ (@StephenCarter2) October 29, 2017
Iain MacLeod tweeted:
Re #Westminster sex pests: I look forward to & expect resignations but cynic in me knows it won’t happen. Instant dismissal anywhere else
— Iain MacLeod (@CloudyLeod) October 30, 2017
Ben Jennings posted a cartoon image relating to the Westminster scandal:
— Ben Jennings (@BJennings90) October 30, 2017
Former Downing Street director of communications, Katie Perrior spoke to Sky News. She said that May is “right to take a stand, 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.