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- Theresa May dodges question on when she first knew about sexual misconduct allegations against Conservative MPs. The Prime Minister refused to say ‘hand on heart’ she did not know about allegations before they were reported in the press.
LONDON – Theresa May has refused to confirm whether she was told about sexual misconduct allegations made against Conservative Party MPs before the scandal broke at the end of last month.
The prime minister dodged the question of whether she can “hand on heart” say she wasn’t aware of any allegations concerning Tory MPs before they were reported by the British press.
She also revealed that a number of allegations have been raised with her that have not yet been made public.
“Obviously what has happened over the last week or so is stories have appeared in the press. A number of issues were raised with me that didn’t make it to the press,” May said. “As you have seen, action has been taken.”
“A number of people have been referred to the Conservative Party’s grievance procedure and arrangements that we have put in place, and a number of people have been referred to the Cabinet Secretary.”
It is the second time the prime minister or one of her spokespersons has dodged the question of when she first knew about allegations against Tory MPs in the space of a week.
Last week a spokesperson for May refused to say when the prime minister was first told about accusations of sexual misconduct involving her MPs, telling Business Insider:”I don’t have a timetable for that.”
A spokesperson for the prime minister said today that May remained “happy that [the whips office] have acted in the proper way,” since she became prime minister.
Westminster is engulfed in a growing sexual harassment scandal after a dossier of allegations against almost 40 Tory MPs circulated by parliamentary staff was leaked to newspapers at the end of last month.
A number of people have since then come forward with new accusations of sexual misconduct involving MPs and staff from Conservatives, Labour party and Liberal Democrats.
Tory MP Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary last week following accusations of sexual misconduct by female journalists Julia Hartley-Brewer and Jane Merrick.
Three MPs have been suspended by their parties pending further investigations into their past behaviour.
Labour has removed the whip from Jared O’Mara and Kelvin Hopkins, while the Conservatives have removed the whip from Charlie Elphicke. This means they no longer represent their parties in the Commons and must sit as independents.