Sex claim ministers could be suspended, Tory chairman hints

Sex claim ministers could be suspended while allegations are probed, Tory chairman hints

  • 56 MPs have been reported to Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme
  • The ICGS looks into accusations of bullying and sexual harassment in Parliament
  • Claims being investigated are said to range from inappropriate comments to criminality
  • It includes the allegation an MP bribed a member of staff in return for sexual favours 

Ministers accused of sexual misconduct could be suspended from their roles while under investigation, a senior Tory has hinted.

Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden vowed that Boris Johnson would take a ‘zero-tolerance’ stance on ‘concerning’ claims of harassment.

His comments came after reports that three Cabinet ministers and two members of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet have been referred to the watchdog, set up in 2018.

A total of 56 MPs have been reported to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), which looks into accusations of bullying and sexual harassment in Parliament. 

Claims being investigated are said to range from inappropriate comments to criminality, including the allegation an MP bribed a member of staff in return for sexual favours, The Sunday Times reported.

Ministers accused of sexual misconduct could be suspended from their roles while under investigation, a senior Tory has hinted

Asked yesterday if he could confirm three members of the Cabinet have been reported to the ICGS, Mr Dowden replied: ‘I’m afraid I can’t say one way or the other other than I’m quite sure that proper due process will be followed in respect of it.’

He was then asked if ministers would be able to keep their jobs if placed under formal investigation. 

Mr Dowden told Times Radio said: ‘I think we’re getting a long way ahead of ourselves. I don’t even know whether that report is accurate in the first place.

‘But I know the Prime Minister and the Government shows zero tolerance of sexual harassment… and decisions will be taken in the light of that overall approach.’

He insisted that ‘the Government takes it very seriously’, despite the large numbers of referrals to the ICGS hotline.

ICGS cases are carried out in secret and the names of MPs involved are only published if they are found to have breached misconduct policies and then sanctioned.

Last week it emerged that accused MPs would not be banned from Westminster because such a move would threaten ‘the confidentiality of investigations’.


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Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden (pictured above) vowed that Boris Johnson would take a ‘zero-tolerance’ stance on ‘concerning’ claims of harassment

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