29 April 2022 | NEWS

It has come to light that 56 MPs are currently under investigation for sexual misconduct allegations, amid allegations that Conservative MP Neil Parish had watched pornography in the House of Commons.

Mr Parish has today lost the Conservative Party whip while the allegations are investigated.

The Sunday Times reports that these allegations have been passed on to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

Three members of the Cabinet are currently being investigated for sexual misconduct, whilst another allegation is believed to be related to a criminal offence.

Last weekend, The Mail on Sunday published an article that has been widely condemned as “misogynistic” for accusing Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner of attempting to put Boris Johnson ‘off his stride’ during PMQs by crossing and uncrossing her legs.

This week, a wider debate has developed around attitudes and behaviours towards women in politics.

Following the controversial article about Mrs Rayner, two female Conservative MPs accused a male colleague of watching pornography in the Commons – though his identity is currently anonymous.

On the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday, Shadow Cabinet Minister Jonathan Ashworth said the MP alleged to have watched porn in the Commons should have the Conservative Party whip removed, meaning he would have to sit as an Independent Member of Parliament.

As a result, it has come to light there are currently 56 allegations of sexual misconduct being investigated, further igniting the debate around sexism in Parliament.

On Wednesday, Labour MP Nadia Whittome declared that “institutional misogyny” runs throughout Parliament.

She tweeted: “A senior Tory MP watching porn in the Commons chamber is shocking, but behaviour like this is far from unusual in Parliament … it’s institutional misogyny.”

The conversations around attitutes and behaviour towards women in politics have encouraged some MPs to come forward and describe their experiences.

Conservative MP Dehenna Davison hit out at the “hatchet job” against Angela Rayner in The Mail on Sunday and the “incel movement”, a group of men who are ‘involuntary celibates’.

She wrote in The Daily Express on Tuesday: “Let’s examine the real story that was printed: ‘Woman wears skirt, and bloke too scared to name himself assumes it’s a distraction technique because he himself can’t see a pair of bare, female legs without sweating.’

“How about, instead: ‘Accomplished woman wears skirt because she wanted to wear skirt, and now let’s discuss what she actually said at the Despatch Box.’

“As a female MP, I get comments every day about my appearance, my tone of voice, my intelligence.”

Ms Davison also spoke of how she has been subjected to rape and death threats, as well as misogynistic comments telling her to “get back in the kitchen where I belong”.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the International Trade Secretary, also revealed on Friday morning to LBC’s Nick Ferrari that some years ago she was “pinned up” against the wall by a male Conservative MP, who no longer sits in Parliament, and who told her that she “wants him” because he was a “powerful man”.

The Cabinet Minister also explained how female MPs are still subjected to “wandering hands”.

William is a political reporter & columnist, and a Journalism student. His writing focuses on politics, society and culture in Britain.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here