Westminster – A Culture of Harassment and Abuse?

The issue of sexual harrassment in Westminster has been in the news this week – here’s a round up of some of the worst cases…

The trade minister, Mark Garnier admitted to having sent a secretary into a sex shop to buy two vibrators (one for his wife and one for a female worker in his constituency office) while he waited outside. It was, he insisted, just ‘good-humored high jinks’. He also admitted to having once called the same woman “sugar-tits” in a bar, but said it was part of an “amusing conversation” about Gavin and Stacey.

Former Cabinet minisiter Stephen Crabb admitted to having “sexted” a 19 year-old he had interviewed (and rejected) for a job.

A labour activist went public with allegations that Labour officials urged her not to report a rape. Bex Bailey sasy she was attacked at a Labour event in 2011, but was discouraged from going to the police.

At lease six Cabinet ministers were rumored to feature a spreadsheet of Tory MPs accused on sexual harassment and misconduct known as the ‘dirty dossier’. The allegations, which have not been verified, range from extramarital affairs to being “handsy in taxis”, and harassing researchers to paying for prostitutes. A Labour-affiliated organisation, Labour Too, has begun compiling similar complaints against MPs on the opposition benches.

Women at Westminister have created a WhatsApp group to warn each other about serial sex pests, while other shave started making off-the-recored allegations to the press. They said that one former Tory minister was famously not afe to share a lift with, and that he was once overheard asking his secretary come “come and feel the length of my dick”.

Stephen Rush, writing in the New Statesman, reminds us that many of these allegations are unproven, moreover, a lot of the behaviour described in the so-called ‘dirty dossier vary from serious harassment to strange yet consensual activities which do not constitute harassment, which muddies the waters about the whole affair.

Sources:

The Week.

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