Theresa May and other party leaders have agreed to introduce a new “grievance procedure” for parliamentary staff who suffer harassment by politicians, as Westminster continues to be dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Prime Minister said party leaders agreed at a meeting in Parliament to introduce a new grievance procedure and upgrade an existing complaints hotline to a face-to-face human resources service.
Theresa May said the hotline will be introduced by the end of the month and the new grievance procedure should be in place in next year.
The Prime Minister said the agreement was an “important step forward” following the cross-party talks in Parliament as the flood of allegations threatens to destabilise both the Conservative administration as well as the opposition parties, Express stated.
Mrs May said: “Sadly, over recent days, we have seen a number of allegations about figures from across the political parties and it’s important that those are investigated impartially and some have rightly been referred to the police.
“I think if this hasn’t happened to you it’s difficult to appreciate the impact that being a victim of this sort of behaviour can have, it simply has a lasting impact on people.
“And we need to do more to stop these abuses of power and I’m pleased that having convened this meeting of party leaders today we have agreed on a way forward.
“We are going to ensure that there’s an upgrade to the existing phone line for staff so that staff in future will be able to get face-to-face HR support and for that to be in place by the end of the month.
“And we’ve also agreed that we need a completely new grievance procedure for staff working here, for everybody working here, and that that should come into effect in the New Year.
“So I think an important step forward has been taken today, it’s important that we get this right, and I’m sorry that we have seen these abuses of power – too many taking place over too many years.
“And the fact that they have taken place here at our seat of democracy should be a matter of shame for us all.”
Speaking at the CBI conference earlier today, the Conservative leader said she would address the allegations head-on, adding she had stepped in to trigger investigations in some cases before allegations emerged publicly.
Mrs May conceded “political parties have not always got this right in the past”, but added: “I am determined to get it right for the future.”