John Mann says MPs should be banned from Commons bar to help end sex abuse
MPs should be banned from a popular Commons bar to create a safe space from sex pest parliamentarians, an outspoken backbencher has said.
Labour MP John Mann said he and his colleagues should “not be allowed to use the Sports and Social bar” which is popular with MPs' staff as he laid out his blueprint for tackling sleaze at Westminster.
He said MPs found to be sexually harassing people must make a public apology, donate some of their salaries to abuse charities and lose their party whip or stand down at the next election.
The sexual harassment scandal has engulfed Westminster and already led to Cabinet minister Michael Fallon quitting his job as defence secretary.
Two other top ministers are under investigation for inappropriate behaviour, while Labour last night suspended MP Kelvin Hopkins over an allegation he rubbed himself against a party activist.
Mr Mann laid out his vision for tackling abuse in an article for Labour List, and he called on his colleagues to endorse a set of strict rules at their weekly party meeting on Monday.
The Bassetlaw MP declared: “We in the Labour Party have always been the party at the forefront of speaking out and standing up against abuses of power. It’s on us to take the lead once again.
“We’ve all known for too long that there are people in this place who are best avoided.
“But now it is clear that abuse and harassment in parliament have been widespread, that perpetrators have not been punished, accusations swept under the carpet and victims have been let down.”
Mr Mann also called for a central parliamentary HR system to assist with the recruiting of MPs’ staff and deal with claims of harassment, abuse or assault.
And he demanded a commitment from the party leader and whips that allegations of harassment will not be hushed up and used as leverage to win votes.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: "The Labour Party takes all allegations of sexual harassment and abuse extremely seriously.
"We are committed to challenging and changing the warped and degraded culture in Westminster and in wider society, where the abuse of women has often been accepted and normalised."