Prospect demands MP be suspended from parliament pending rape investigation

5 August 2020

Prospect has joined other unions, rape charities and equality groups in calling for an MP accused of rape to be suspended from Parliament pending police investigation.

In a joint statement with the TUC, Centenary Action Group, The Fawcett Society, Women’s Aid Federation of England, PCS, FDA, Rights of Women, Unite, EVAW, and Rape Crisis Wales Prospect says the unnamed Conservative MP should have to work remotely to safeguard workers in Parliament while the investigation takes place.

In addition to suspension the group calls for:

  • The Conservative Party to suspend the whip of the MP;
  • The media to respect the alleged victims’ right to anonymity and justice;
  • The alleged victim to be supported by an accredited Independent Sexual Violence Advisor;
  • Political parties to revise their own internal sexual harassment and complaint policiesto ensure that they are transparent, quick, victim-focused and independent;
  • Parliament to ensure that MPs and volunteers have access to the same legal protections against sexual harassment as other employees;
  • The Government Equalities Office to publish its response to the consultation on a new preventative duty to end workplace sexual harassment;
  • The government to ratify ILO Convention No.190on eliminating gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.

General Secretary of Prospect Mike Clancy said:

“Parliament and political parties continue to lag behind other workplaces in their processes around allegations of harassment, bullying and serious sexual misconduct.

“Progress is being made but we have still not seen full implementation of Dame Laura Cox’s report on bullying, there is no transparency within political parties as to how they deal with this kind of allegation, and it is hard to escape the conclusion that parliament is still a hotspot of bullying and sexual harassment of all kinds.

“The legislature of our country should be a model of how workplaces behave, instead it can look like a cosy boys club where women are barely tolerated and don’t feel safe. This has to end.”