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- An unnamed female aide has accused an MP of assaulting her. She did not name the MP, who allegedly grabbed her crotch from behind. Parliamentary authorities reportedly told her there was “nothing they could do.” The claim is the latest in a deepening scandal engulfing UK politics.
LONDON – A Conservative MP has been accused of sexually assaulting his aide, the latest in a series of claims against British political figures in a scandal engulfing Westminster politics.
The MP, who has not been named, was accused by a former member of staff in an interview with London’s Evening Standard newspaper.
The woman, who remained anonymous, described the MP (who was also her employer) approaching her from behind and grabbing her crotch.
She said she reported the incident to authorities in the House of Commons, but was told there was “nothing they could do.”
The encounter happened four years ago, and the woman is no longer employed by that MP, according to the Standard.
Describing the alleged attack, she said: “He had made comments previously which made me feel a bit uncomfortable but I never felt physically threatened.
“I was on my own in the office with him late one afternoon, which was not unusual, when out of nowhere he just put his hand between my legs.
“I was totally shocked. I just froze. It was over in seconds and I just ran out of the room. It was never mentioned.”
After she later started working for another MP, she reported the assault to the parliamentary authorities, who told her there was nothing they could do.
She said: “They were very nice but they essentially told me I had to talk to the party or to the police, there wasn’t anything they could do.”
In the same article, the Evening Standard also reported the story of a second woman, who said her drink was spiked in a Parliamentary bar.
The woman also worked for the Conservative Party, but it is not clear whether she was employed by an MP or in another capacity.
She said the incident happened at the Strangers Bar, a subsidised venue inside the Houses of Parliament which is reserved for MPs and their guests.
She said she had a couple of drinks but can’t remember anything from 8.30 p.m., and has no idea how she got home.
Hospital tests revealed no trace of her being drugged, but a doctor later told her the experience matched those who have been drugged with date rape drugs.
The victim later spoke to the police and was told by an officer: “This is not the first incident of its kind at Westminster.”
A House of Commons spokesman said: “Allegations of criminal activity on the Parliamentary Estate are a matter for the police. Any police investigation carried out as a result of such allegations would have Parliament’s full cooperation.”
“The dam has broken”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme on Thursday morning, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said she had discussed the idea of a new UK-wide code of conduct for politicians with Theresa May.
Davidson said: “I spoke to the prime minister … at great length about this and what we can do on a UK-wide basis in terms of a code of conduct for all elected officials and those who work for the party too, and we expect both parliaments and parties to move forward from this point.
“The dam has broken on this now, and these male-dominated professions, overwhelmingly male-dominated professions, where the boys’ own locker room culture has prevailed, and it’s all been a bit bit of a laugh, has got to stop.”