Westminster harassment report due – BBC News

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House of Parliament.
PA

A Parliamentary working group set up in response to allegations of sexual harassment and bullying at Westminster is due to report its findings later.

A cross-party group has been examining reforms of the workplace culture amid claims against MPs and staff.

After allegations started emerging last year two cabinet ministers stood down and several MPs from different parties were suspended pending investigations.

A new code of behaviour is expected to be drawn up.

The working group, chaired by Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom, was made up of MPs from most of the political parties along with the leader of the House of Lords and trade union representatives.

  • MPs’ staff tell of bullying and abuse

As well as the new code covering politicians, staff and visitors to Parliament, it is expected that a new complaints procedure – independent of the political parties – will be put in place.

It is thought this will recommend separate helplines for reporting bullying and harassment and for making complaints about sexual misconduct and harassment.

It is envisaged that the identities of both complainants and alleged perpetrators would remain confidential for most of the process.

However, if the most serious sanctions were to be applied such as the expulsion of a member of the Lords, or enabling constituents to sack their MP under rules that already exist, then the identity of the alleged perpetrator would be made public.

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