Parliament clamps down on MPs who carry out sexual harassment and bullying.
Under new plans, drawn up by a cross-party committee after widespread allegations of sexual harassment, any MP who has been found guilty of harassment and bullying of staff will have to undergo training and write a letter of apology.
If the case is found to be of a very serious nature they could lose their jobs or be suspended from office. The new rules will also apply to those who sit in the House of Lords.
Currently there aren’t any formal disciplinary guidance for MPs who abuse their position and mistreat staff. Anyone who feels they are suffering at the hands of an MP have no formal way to report their issues.
The disgruntled staff member would be offered “practical and emotional” support, even if they decide not to take the grievance to the police or to further pursue their claim.
A survey of staff inside Westminster, which got 1,377 responses, or 17% of the entire workforce, found that as well as 19% reporting experience of sexual harassment, 39% had experienced non-sexual harassment or bullying in the past 12 months.
The cross-party working group, chaired by Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said: “This is a big day for Parliament and our politics. The new independent procedure will demonstrate that we want to be the best Parliament in the world when it comes to treating everyone who works here with dignity and respect.
“This is a major step in bringing about the culture change that Parliament needs.”