MP arrest – voluntary agreements to stay away from Parliament do not work

17 May 2022

Another MP has today (Tuesday 17 May) been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.

House of Parliament

As with other recent cases the MP in question is still free to attend parliament should they wish. They are not barred but there is a voluntary agreement in place with Conservative Party whips that they will stay away.

Prospect, as the staff union for many workers at Parliament, has been leading calls for the rules to be changed to allow MPs to be barred. In other workplaces someone accused of such an offence would be barred until the conclusion of any investigation.

Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of Prospect said:

“This news comes just weeks after an MP was found guilty of sexual abuse against a child and is the latest in a series of arrests and convictions of politicians for sexual offences.

“What will it take for Parliament to finally take its responsibility to its staff and visitors seriously and suspend access to the estate for parliamentarians under investigation for sexual offences?

“Voluntary agreements to stay away do not work, as demonstrated by Imran Ahmad Khan’s attendance at Westminster whilst investigations were ongoing, despite agreeing to stay away. Parliament has the same responsibilities towards its staff as any other workplace and it must live up to them.”

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