Unions call for any MP being investigated for sexual misconduct to be barred from the parliamentary estate

9 June 2021

Unions representing staff in parliament have called for any MP who is being investigated for sexual misconduct, by the police, their parties or by parliament itself, to be barred from the parliamentary estate until any investigation is concluded.

The call was made by President of Parliament’s Trade Union Side (the joint union committee in parliament) Ken Gall giving evidence at the Commons Women and Equalities Committee today (Wednesday 9 June) on behalf of all the parliamentary unions. The call comes after investigations into MPs Mike Hill and Rob Roberts upheld complaints made against them by staff. The MPs did not face a parliamentary ban while they were being investigated.

Currently, any decision to bar someone from the estate is made on an ad hoc and often voluntary basis.

Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of Prospect said:

“The introduction of a rule to bar from the parliamentary estate any MP being investigated for sexual misconduct is long overdue. It would go a long way to improving confidence in the system if anyone with such an allegation hanging over them were not free to come and go as they please. Any other employee would be suspended under these circumstances and the same should be the case here.

“Recent cases have demonstrated the limits to the Speaker’s powers in this area. A rule such as the one we are proposing would give House authorities the codified support they require to properly protect their workers.

“The pandemic has demonstrated that it is entirely possible to carry out parliamentary duties remotely so no one should be democratically impacted by such a rule. There is no reason why this rule should not be brought forward as a matter of urgency.”

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