The release of many sexual harassment claims has led to trouble for Westminster and Prime Minister Theresa May.
Following claims that a Whatsapp group had been created in which female employees at Westminster discussed the inappropriate behaviour of MPs, a dossier has been released. This dossier suggests that up to 40 conservative MPs, including current cabinet ministers, have been accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour. These accusations range from extramarital affairs to sexual harassment. These accusations have led to many investigations, and have shed light on the internal affairs and behaviour inside Westminster.
The first group to come under fire in the aftermath of the dossier release are the whips of the Conservative party. A whip in parliament is the member of the political party who is in charge of discipline in a legislature. It has been suggested that the whips in the conservative party knew about at some of the allegations that have been made, but have kept them to themselves in order to have leverage against the accused in the future.
Michael Fallon has also been involved in this scandal after it was revealed that his name was mentioned in the dossier. These allegations were furthered by journalist Jane Merrick who said that he had lunged at her and tried to kiss her after they lunched together in 2003. A friend then confirmed that this incident had, in fact, taken place. In light of this, Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary on 1st November. A friend (mentioned above) said that “Michael realises this kind of incident was unacceptable which is why he had to resign”.
“Secretary of State Damian Green, was also accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a woman 30 years younger than him and of having extreme pornography on his computer.”
These accusations have not only affected the Conservative party, with Welsh Labour minister Carl Sargeant being accused of sexual misconduct. On Friday 3rd November, an investigation into Sargeant was opened over a ‘number of incidents’ after multiple women came forward with allegations. When this investigation was announced, Sargeant stated that he found the allegations ‘shocking and distressing’, however, the allegations did lead to him being suspended from his position. On November 7th, a short four days after the investigation was opened, Sargeant was found dead in his home after taking his own life.
Other MPs who have also been named in the dossier are former cabinet minister Stephen Crabb, who has been accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a 19-year old woman as well as Brexit minister Mark Garner, who admitted to calling his secretary ‘sugar t*ts’ and taking her to buy vibrators. Secretary of State Damian Green, was also accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a woman 30 years younger than him and of having extreme pornography on his computer.
These are just a few examples of the many allegations that are in the dossier. With many investigations only just beginning and more women coming forward, it is unclear as to when these serious allegations will be resolved, and what it means for the government.