Theresa May says claims of sexual harassment in Westminster are 'deeply concerning'

  • A spokesman for Theresa May urges people with information about alleged sexual harassment in Westminster to come forward.
  • The prime minister says accusations that politicians, including Cabinet ministers, are involved in inappropriate behaviour and abuse are “deeply concerning.”

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May has described claims of sexual harassment in Westminster as “deeply concerning” and urged anyone with information to come forward to the police.

A Downing Street spokesperson said May is taking the claims “extremely seriously” following reports that Cabinet ministers are among a number of Westminster politicians accused of abuse and inappropriate behaviour.

A group of female employees at Westminster are using a WhatsApp group to warn each other about MPs and other senior figures who work in Parliament and elsewhere in London politics, The Sun newspaper reports.

The Sun claims that an accused MP could be named this weekend and resignations are “expected” as a result of the allegations. The report adds that accused MPs include “usual old suspects” and “surprising younger names.”

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “Any reports of sexual harassment are deeply concerning.

“The prime minister was very clear when we responded to the reports about Harvey Weinstein in the last few weeks that any unwanted sexual behaviour is completely unacceptable, and that is true in any walk of life — including politics.

“Any allegations that may come to light will be taken extremely seriously and we would advise people to contact the police if there is such an allegation so that it’s fully investigated.”

Accusations of harassment within the Westminster bubble follows a series of allegations of sexual assault made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

In the alleged WhatsApp group, female employees are reported to have given warnings including “not safe in taxis” and “groped my a*** at a drinks party.”

A spokesperson for the House of Commons said: “The House of Commons takes the welfare of everyone who works in Parliament very seriously.

“The House is limited in its ability to intervene in employment matters, such as allegations of bullying or harassment by MPs of their staff as MPs are self-employed and employ their staff directly.”

The House of Commons Commission said it would discuss issues relating to MPs’ staff at its next meeting.”

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