UK investigation after complaint about MP watching porn in parliament


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The British government’s chief whip — a political enforcer — has launched an investigation after female MPs from Boris Johnson’s party complained one of their male colleagues was watching pornography on his phone in the parliament chamber.

British media reports that a group of a dozen female Conservative Party MPs met with Chris Heaton-Harris on Monday evening to complain about sexism in parliament, when the allegation about the male MP was made.

Heaton-Harris’ office said in a statement: “The chief whip is looking into this matter. This behaviour is wholly unacceptable and action will be taken.”

The issue of misogyny and inappropriate sexual behaviour was raised in the House of Commons on Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions, when the leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas put Boris Johnson on the spot.

“Fifty-six members of this House are under investigation for sexual misconduct, and that includes three of his cabinet ministers,” said Lucas, asking Johnson if it was grounds for dismissal if a cabinet minister was found to be guilty of sexual misconduct.

“Of course sexual harassment is intolerable, and it is quite right that Members now have a procedure whereby they can bring that to the attention of the House authorities,” said PM Johnson.

“Of course it’s grounds for dismissal,” he added.

‘Basic Instinct’ misogyny scandal

The latest British parliamentary scandal comes just days after a newspaper published a claim by an anonymous Conservative MP that opposition Labour Party deputy Angela Rayner would cross and uncross her legs — like Sharon Stone’s character in the 1992 film ‘Basic Instinct’ — as a way to distract Boris Johnson when she sits opposite him during House of Commons debates.

There was an outcry in the media and parliament about the story, with the Speaker of the House of Commons summoning the editor of the Mail on Sunday newspaper over the incident.

However, the editor declined to attend, saying journalists should “not take instruction from officials of the House of Commons, however august they may be.”

Meanwhile, Angela Rayner said in a television interview the story was “disgusting and completely untrue” and that she’s been “really fearful” before the story came out wondering what people would think of her when they read the article.

Rayner accused “Boris Johnson’s cheerleaders” of using “desperate, perverted smears” to get the story in the Mail on Sunday in the first place.

“I stand accused of a ‘ploy’ to ‘distract’ the helpless PM — by being a woman, having legs and wearing clothes,” she wrote on Twitter. “Women in politics face sexism and misogyny every day — and I’m no different.”

Rayner, who comes from a working-class family in northern England, left school when she was 16 and got her political start in the trade union movement. That makes a sharp contrast with Johnson, who was educated at the elite private school Eton and Oxford University. Johnson has sometimes struggled to parry her attacks during debates.

The prime minister condemned the article, writing on Twitter, “As much as I disagree with Angela Rayner on almost every political issue, I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously today.”

On Wednesday morning Anum Qaisar, an MP for the Scottish National Party tweeted that she would be wearing a dress in parliament. “I’ll need to remember not to cross and uncross my legs,” the first-term MP wrote.

Read the full article at: euronews.com


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