POLITICS

Theresa May Gives Tory MPs New Code Of Conduct To Fight Westminster Sexual Harassment

Prime minister announces new hotline for complaints.

03/11/2017 15:45 GMT
CHRIS J RATCLIFFE via Getty Images

Theresa May has written to John Bercow to set out a new code of conduct for Tory MPs, following a series of allegations relating to sexual harassment at Westminster.

The prime minister announced on Friday that the Conservative Party was also immediately setting up a new confidential telephone hotline for people to call to report any breaches.

Under the new party rules, harassment is defined as:

“Any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive situation or environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment.”

The code also sets out to tackle discrimination, victimisation or bullying within the party.

Parliament has been rocked by multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse by MPs and ministers.

Sir Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary over accusations and has also been accused of making “lewd” comments to Cabinet colleague Andrea Leadsom.

Damian Green, the de factor deputy prime minister, is also currently under investigation for behaving inappropriately towards a young Tory female activist. A charge he denies.

Jeremy Corbyn faces demands to appoint an external independent investigator into claims of sexual abuse inside the Labour Party.

On Thursday evening, MP Kelvin Hopkins was suspended from Labour following allegations he sent suggestive texts and acted inappropriately towards a young party activist.

Corbyn is under pressure to explain why Hopkins was promoted to the shadow cabinet after a complaint had been made about him.

On Friday, Labour Welsh AM Carl Sargeant resigned as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children in the Welsh government over “shocking and distressing” allegations made about his personal conduct.

And earlier this week Labour activist Bex Bailey revealed that she was raped during a party event - but was discouraged from reporting the assault.

Labour MP John Mann has demanded that the party ban its MPs from drinking in the Sports and Social bar in parliament, which is popular with young staff members, to crackdown on sexual harassment.