Sexual Harassment in Parliament: 30th October 2017

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
May I, too, congratulate you on and endorse your comments, Mr Speaker? I thank the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House for all that they have said. We do indeed need change; things cannot go on as they are. I very much welcome the notion that we are going to set up an independent grievance procedure to provide to everybody who works in this place the same protection as any other worker would have. Will my right hon. Friend look into extending that protection to every parliamentary passholder or parliamentary email account holder? Will she set out a timetable? Does she agree that this is not only about sexual harassment but extends to other forms of abuse? It is important that we recognise that.

Andrea Leadsom
My right hon. Friend is exactly right that this must include all passholders and all work experience people and members of the media who come to this House. It is absolutely clear that there needs to be a proper means for people to come forward with grievances. She is also right that this is a matter not just of sexually inappropriate behaviour, but of bullying, accusations and all manner of inappropriate behaviour. The procedure should be all encompassing, and that is exactly what we intend to achieve.