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Top Tory caught watching porn set to stay in the Commons for months during investigation

Tory Whips have said the matter should be referred to Parliament’s post-Pestminster watchdog – and they will not suspend the MP pending the outcome of the inquiry

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The top Tory who watched porn in the House of Commons will remain a Conservative MP for months despite being reported to party leaders.

Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to immediately suspend the MP pending an independent inquiry.

Labor leader Keir Starmer has urged the Tories to take immediate action against the as-yet-unnamed MP – rather than wait for an independent inquiry that could take months.

But the Prime Minister has insisted that “the right procedures need to be followed” in order to “understand the facts”.

The Mirror revealed yesterday that a minister had caught a Tory MP watching porn on his mobile phone as he sat next to her in the House of Commons.

The minister told colleagues about the incident, which took place at a meeting of Tory MPs in recent weeks.

But Der Spiegel understands that Tory whips, in charge of party discipline, will not investigate or take action themselves.

Instead, they have told the minister who reported the incident to raise it with Parliament’s post-Pestminster regulator, the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

And a party source confirmed they would not take any action against the MP until after the ICGS investigation, or suspend it pending the outcome.

That could mean the accused MP stays in the House of Commons for months while the investigation goes on.







Boris Johnson said the allegations were ‘manifestly unacceptable’
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Picture:

AFP via Getty Images)

Last week it was reported that a backlog of 56 MPs, including three cabinet members and two Labor shadow cabinet members, is being investigated by the ICGS.

None of the deputies were suspended by their parties.

On Wednesday night, a spokesman for the Whip Office said: “Following allegations of improper conduct in the House of Commons, the Chief Whip has asked for the matter to be referred to the ICGS.

“Upon completion of an ICGS investigation, the Chief Whip will take appropriate action.”

But only witnesses can complain to the ICGS.

Speaking on the Cumbria campaign trail, Mr Starmer said there was “nothing wrong with the independent process but I think the Tory party, they know who this is, they should act now.”







Tory chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris
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Picture:

AFP via Getty Images)

Tory Attorney General Suella Braverman said a minority of men in politics “behave like animals” and bring Parliament into disrepute with unacceptable behaviour.

She said if the subject of the complaint was found to have viewed pornography, it should result in them “losing their privileged position as Members of Parliament”.

And Baroness Nicky Morgan, the former Education Secretary, said she was “shocked” by the allegation.

She slammed “male culture” throughout Parliament, arguing that sexism is “not just an issue on the Conservative benches” but “all over the House”.

Boris Johnson said the allegations were “manifestly unacceptable”.

Asked by broadcasters during a visit to Burnley whether the MP would lose the Conservative stick if the allegations were proven, the Prime Minister said: “I think it’s obviously unacceptable for anyone to do something like that in the workplace.

“It would be the same for any type of job across the country, let’s be absolutely clear.

“What needs to happen now is that the right procedures need to be followed, the independent complaints and grievance mechanism needs to be activated and we need to understand the facts, but yes, this type of behavior is clearly totally unacceptable. “

Under the ICGS, an investigator would investigate the case and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone would then make a finding.

In a serious case like this, the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) would normally decide on a sanction, which also decides on an appeal.

The IEP could recommend sanctions, including expulsion from the House of Commons or a suspension – potentially triggering a by-election as part of the recall process if it lasts longer than 10 sitting days.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said “there is no place for pornography in any workplace” and stressed the need for cultural change in Westminster.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I definitely think they should lose the whip” and they could be the subject of the recall procedure.

Mr Wallace told Sky News: “I think this is an issue with the overall culture of the House of Commons.

“It’s long sitting, late nights with bars, and that very often, and has been for decades, leads to behavioral problems.”

Speaking on Times Radio, he said the mix of long hours, high pressure and alcohol could be “toxic”, adding: “My advice to any MP is to avoid the bars… finish work one day and go home.” “

Meanwhile, a Welsh MP told the BBC a shadow cabinet member had dubbed it a “secret weapon” because “women want to be her girlfriend and men want to sleep with her”.

The MP, who told the BBC she wished to remain anonymous, said the conversation took place at an event after she was described as her party’s “rising star”.

Labor said they would take it “very seriously” if a complaint were made.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/top-tory-caught-watching-porn-26825523 Top Tory caught watching porn set to stay in the Commons for months during investigation

Fry Electronics Team

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