Sexual harassment claims are ‘no witch hunt’, says Harman

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Labour MP Harriet Harman has instructed BBC News that the string of allegations of badual abuse and harbadment towards MPs just isn’t a witch hunt.

She stated: “There are a lot of men saying this has been blown out of all proportion, it’s a witch hunt. No, it’s not a witch hunt, it’s long overdue.”

Her feedback comply with Friday’s suspensions of Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke and Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon resigned earlier this week.

On Saturday morning, Sir Roger Gale, Conservative MP for North Thanet, urged folks “not to rush to judgement”, telling BBC Radio four’s Today programme that he believes the scandal is popping right into a “witch hunt”.

“I don’t think there’s anybody who would seek to defend rape or badual abuse in the context there’s no proof that I can see yet of any wrongdoing. How does a member of Parliament refute that?”

On Friday, the Conservatives revealed a brand new code of conduct and are instantly adopting a brand new complaints process.

Mrs May can also be badembly opposition occasion leaders on Monday to debate proposals to carry ahead a brand new grievance system for Westminster workers and MPs.

Ms Harman, the previous Labour deputy chief, stated that she thought Prime Minister Theresa May took “very bold action” in relation to Sir Michael’s resignation.

Sir Michael, who stop workplace on Wednesday saying his basic conduct fell wanting anticipated requirements, has “categorically denied” allegations over his conduct.

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Media captionThe scandal is popping right into a “witch hunt”, says Tory MP

Ms Harman instructed BBC Radio four’s Week in Westminster that Mrs May’s actions have made her “hopeful” that the events can work collectively to vary requirements.

She stated folks have been postpone from making complaints for concern of being disloyal to their occasion and “helping” the opposite facet. But now, she stated, “there’s a bigger fight”.

“We’re all tribal beasts, that’s why we’re there [in parliament] and that has dampened down any ability to speak out,” she stated. “I think that’s changed after this week.”

Ms Harman stated that Parliament has a “sea change opportunity” to handle the problem – and to badist those that converse out.

She added: “If you point your finger at a powerful man, they won’t just sit there, they will fight back. So there will be some backlash about this amongst the corridors [of Westminster].”

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Dover MP Charlie Elphicke denies any wrongdoing

On Friday, Charlie Elphicke, a former occasion bad who has been the Conservative MP for Dover since 2010, was suspended by the occasion after “serious allegations” have been referred to the police.

Denying any wrongdoing in a put up on Twitter, the married 46-year-old wrote: “The party tipped off the press before telling me of my suspension. I am not aware of what the alleged claims are.”

Labour MPs Clive Lewis and Kelvin Hopkins are being investigated by the occasion over allegations about their behaviour.

But Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale instructed BBC Radio four: “We’re at risk of getting right into a scenario the place no person half vibrant, half wise, half respectable, will need to go into the House of Commons – and that won’t be good for democracy.

“We ought to take a look at the details…by all means throw e-book at them, however do not throw the e-book at them till the case is confirmed.”

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Media captionLabour MP Rupa Huq says Westminster must “get into line”.

Rupa Huq, Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton, instructed BBC Breakfast that the House of Commons has “no real structure” for complaints.

She stated it’s “the most unusual workplace” the place the foundations round badual harbadment are “lax if not non-existent”.

“In this sense it needs to get into line. Other big companies have a badual harbadment policy, they have a staff handbook. All those things do not exist for MPs”, she stated.

On high of that, she added, “you’ve got a whole political culture which has thrived on favours and bullying” in addition to partisan “one-upmanship” the place persons are “incredibly loyal to their parties”.

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Media captionLabour’s shadow chancellor says Parliament should ‘give girls the boldness to work in security’

Alongside the brand new code of conduct and complaints process, the Conservatives have arrange a a hotline for reporting potential breaches and a extra detailed investigatory course of.

Labour has launched a brand new complaints process, whereas the Liberal Democrats proceed to evaluation their complaints procedures.

Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, stated any complaints system has to use to all political events, and have to be “fair and objective”.

“There should be an element of independence [in the system], particularly for support as well, so people can feel confident about where they can report these things and at the same time how it can be dealt with.”

Mrs May stated Parliament should do its bit in addition to the person events – because it was not truthful to count on doubtlessly weak folks to “navigate different grievance procedures according to political party”.

Lord Bew, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, instructed the Today programme that the “burning issue” at stake is the popularity of parliament.

He stated it was important that instances weren’t handled internally by the events, however by these outdoors parliament who may “give some rebadurance to the public that this is not just another cover-up”.


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