Theresa May reveals more Westminster sex pest claims are yet to be uncovered

Posted On: 
6th November 2017

Theresa May today revealed she is aware of fresh Westminster sexual harassment allegations that are yet to be uncovered by the press.

Theresa May addressed the CBI conference today
PA Images

The Prime Minister said “a number of issues have been raised with me” that have so far escaped media attention as she called for a “new culture of respect” in parliament.

It follows a tumultuous week in Westminster in which Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and junior whip Chris Pincher resigned over allegations about their past behaviour.

Tory whip Chris Pincher resigns and refers himself to police over behaviour allegations

Former Tory activist ‘ignored’ by Parliament over rape claim

Theresa May calls for 'new culture of respect' in wake of Westminster sex scandal

A number of top figures from both parties are also under investigation, with Labour looking into a claim of rape by a party official and claims of a subsequent cover-up.

Asked today whether she had any prior knowledge of the allegations of impropriety Mrs May said: "A number of stories have appeared in the press and a number of issues have been raised with me that didn't appear in the press.

"A number of people have, in my party, been referred to the Conservative Party’s grievance procedure and arrangements have been put in place.

"And a number of people have been referred to the Cabinet Secretary where they are in ministerial positions and it’s appropriate for the Cabinet Secretary to look at these issues."

In her speech to the CBI's annual conference, Mrs May accepted there had been failures on behalf of political parties in the past but insisted she was “determined to get it right for the future”.

"We need to establish a new culture of respect at the centre of our public life,” she declared.

"One in which everyone can feel confident that they are working in a safe and secure environment, where complaints can be brought forward without prejudice and victims know that those complaints will be investigated properly.

"Political parties have not always got this right in the past. But I am determined to get it right for the future."

Several of Mrs May's Tory colleagues are currently under investigation over allegations of improper behaviour, including Cabinet ally Damian Green and Trade minister Mark Garnier.

Chris Pincher, stepped down as a government whip yesterday and referred himself to the police over claims in a newspaper that he made a pass at a party activist in 2001.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is also under pressure over why Kelvin Hopkins was promoted to the front bench despite being reprimanded by party whips over claims he acted inappropriately towards an activist.

And the party is investigating activist Bex Bailey's allegation that she was raped at a party event in 2011 and then discouraged from reporting the attack by a party official.