Ruth Davidson has said the “dam has broken” on Westminster sexual harassment allegations after Sir Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary.
The Scottish Tory leader said on Thursday the “boys own locker room culture” of “male dominated professions” where “it’s all been a bit of a laugh” had to end.
“There has been this sense that people can use positions of power to demand things from others and that has got to stop,” she told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
In a speech to the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards on Wednesday evening, Davidson said it was now time for some “house clearing” in parliament using some “pretty big shovels”.
Labour MP Jess Philips also told the BBC she agreed with Davidson. “It feels like the beginning of a clear out and this is across parties,” she said.
Sir Michael resigned from the Cabinet following allegations he had behaved inappropriately.
He said he had “fallen below the high standards required”.The shock announcement came after it emerged he had repeatedly put his hand on a journalist’s knee at a dinner in 2002.
Theresa May is expected to conduct a small reshuffle today in order to appoint his replacement.
Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood is also looking into claims made against May’s de facto deputy prime minister Damian Green and international trade minister Mark Garnier.
Speaking to Today, Davidson said she had spoken to the prime minister about what could be done on a “UK-wide basis in terms of a code of conduct for all elected officials and those who work for the party too”.
“We expect both parliaments and parties to move forward from this point,” she said.
“The dam has broken on this now, and these male-dominated professions, overwhelmingly male-dominated professions, where the boys’ own locker room culture has prevailed, and it’s all been a bit bit of a laugh, has got to stop.”