UK minister allegedly watched porn while sitting in House of Commons

Published on Apr 28, 2022 01:24 PM IST

The party’s chief whip, Chris Heaton-Harris, has asked that the matter be referred to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, according to a statement from his spokesperson. He will take appropriate action when the ICGS investigation is complete, the statement said.

The Daily Mirror reported earlier Wednesday that the minister was sitting next to a female member while watching the video. (Representative image)(Getty images)
The Daily Mirror reported earlier Wednesday that the minister was sitting next to a female member while watching the video. (Representative image)(Getty images)
Bloomberg |

Britain’s governing Conservative Party has called for an investigation into the case of a senior minister allegedly watching pornography on his cell phone while sitting in the House of Commons.

The party’s chief whip, Chris Heaton-Harris, has asked that the matter be referred to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, according to a statement from his spokesperson. He will take appropriate action when the ICGS investigation is complete, the statement said.

The Daily Mirror reported earlier Wednesday that the minister was sitting next to a female member while watching the video during a meeting in the last few months.

The call for an investigation comes amid a wave of controversy about sexual harassment and misogyny in Westminster. Three of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet members are among 56 MPs who are facing allegations of sexual misconduct and have been reported to Parliament’s ICGS, according to the Sunday Times newspaper. Johnson’s party has also faced a backlash over a report in the Mail on Sunday newspaper where anonymous Conservative MPs made misogynistic remarks about Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner.

“Of course sexual harassment is intolerable and it’s quite right that members should now have a procedure by which they can bring that to the House authorities,” Johnson said in the Commons on Wednesday, when asked about the issue. “Of course it’s grounds for dismissal.”

Johnson also said on Wednesday that there was “absolutely no place for such behavior or expression” concerning the remarks about Rayner and that MPs should treat each other with more respect.

A renewed focus on misconduct by Conservatives is fresh setback for Johnson, who became the first serving prime minister found to have broken the law when he was fined over lockdown rules. The negative coverage is also a blow for the Tories ahead of local elections on May 5, where a poor showing may renew calls from Conservative backbenchers for Johnson to resign.

 

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