Theresa May urges Westminster staff to report alleged sex abuse MPs to police
Theresa May today said reports of sexual harassment by MPs are “deeply concerning” and has urged victims to go to the police.
No 10 said they would take “extremely seriously” allegations of abuse at Westminster - drawing a comparison to that allegedly carried out by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The comments from a Downing Street spokesperson come after it emerged a WhatsApp group has been set up by staff to warn others about the behaviour of certain MPs, including cabinet ministers.
The group, which was revealed by The Sun, includes researchers, secretaries and aides relaying details of parliamentarians regarded as “very handsy” or “not safe in taxis”.
While the paper reports claims that some of the alleged perpetrators are deemed “the usual old suspects”, one poster says they also include “surprising younger names”.
Among the allegations are cases of MPs having sex with staff in their parliamentary offices and “groping” staff at parties and on official business.
Others include cases of an MP asking staff to “buy sex toys as gifts”; a Tory grandee banned from employing “young leggy women”; senior staff calling female colleagues “sugar t**s and demanding affairs” and high-ranking Government aides “aggressively pursuing female juniors”.
Furthermore the paper quotes sources as saying members could be exposed publicly in the coming days and that resignations are “anticipated”.
Downing Street said any accusations from Westminster staff would be taken “extremely seriously” and urged victims to report them to the authorities.
“Any reports of sexual harassment are deeply concerning,” they said.
“I think the Prime Minister was very clear when we responded to the reports about Harvey Weinstein in the last few weeks that any unwanted sexual behaviour is completely unacceptable.
“And that is true in any walk of life, including politics.
“Any allegations that may come to light should be taken extremely seriously and we would advise people to come to the police if there is such an allegation so it is fully investigated.”