Party leaders agree new complaints system to tackle Westminster harassment

Posted On: 
7th November 2017

Theresa May and other political party leaders have agreed "important" steps to deal with harassment in Parliament in the wake of the Westminster sex scandal.

Theresa May said the recent allegations were a source of 'shame'

There will be a new grievance procedure, along with new face-to-face human resources support for parliamentary staff - an upgrade on the phone service that is currently available. 

The Prime Minister said it was a source of "shame" that the spate of recent allegations had surfaced at the heart of British political life. 

A number of MPs from different parties are facing allegations of improper conduct, while Sir Michael Fallon has already stood down as Defence Secretary over past behaviour he said had "fallen short" of the standards expected of him.

Mrs May's de factor deputy, Damian Green, was interviewed yesterday as part of a Cabinet Office investigation into claims he acted improperly towards journalist Kate Maltby.

"Sadly, over recent days, we have seen a number of allegations about figures from across the political parties and it's important that those are investigated impartially and some have rightly been referred to the police," the Prime Minister said after a meeting with other leaders yesterday.

"I think if this hasn't happened to you it's difficult to appreciate the impact that being a victim of this sort of behaviour can have, it simply has a lasting impact on people."

"So I think an important step forward has been taken today, it's important that we get this right, and I'm sorry that we have seen these abuses of power - too many taking place over too many years," Mrs May added.

"And the fact that they have taken place here at our seat of democracy should be a matter of shame for us all."