News that Rob Roberts will keep the party whip despite sending sexually suggestive messages to a young female intern managed to get drowned out by the noise yesterday following the sad passing of Prince Philip.
The MP for Delyn in north Wales was “strongly rebuked” after he sent the 21-year-old, who was struggling with mental health, suggestive text messages about ‘fooling around’.
He told the intern: “Don’t ignore me when I’m making you feel better,” before suggesting she might want to “fool around with no strings, you might come and visit me in London”. He added that he “might be gay but I enjoy … fun times”.
The woman had told Roberts she was struggling with her mental health and was in an “awful state”, according to the messages. Roberts responded: “I was just thinking about fun times … Maybe if you thought of them too it might help you.”
The woman told BBC Wales the messages made her feel “incredibly sick”. She said: “I had had one of the worst days ever, and then I messaged him saying: ‘I’m crying, I’m not OK’, and his solution to that was to proposition me.”
Roberts separately apologised for asking a male parliamentary staffer out to dinner, which the man said had made him feel uncomfortable
A Conservative party spokeswoman said: “The investigation into Rob Roberts has concluded. Rob Roberts’s conduct was found to be unacceptable under the party’s code of conduct and he has been strongly rebuked.
“Mr Roberts has apologised for his behaviour and was instructed to undertake safeguarding and social media protection training.”
The party said it did not make decisions on the whip and that it had received no official complaint from anyone who claimed to have been sexually harassed.