A fifth of UK House staff report sexual harassment | The Daily Star
12:38 AM, February 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:39 AM, February 09, 2018

A fifth of UK House staff report sexual harassment

Around one in five people employed at the British parliament have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment at work during the past year, according to a survey in a parliamentary report out yesterday.

More than a third, and nearly half of women, have reported suffering from non-sexual harassment or bullying over the same time period.

Victims recorded their experiences to a group of lawmakers focused on tackling sexual harassment and bullying in the British parliament after a spate of allegations emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The cross-party body has called for a raft of measures to offer better protection and support for staff and Members of Parliament, including a new code of behaviour and creating an independent and confidential complaints procedure.

The group also recommended expanding and reforming the roles of parliamentary commissioners for standards and other relevant committees, while introducing broad sanctions, ranging from written apologies and mandatory training to dismissals and lawmaker recalls.

Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons and chair of the panel, said the release of the report was "a big day for parliament and our politics".

"The new independent procedure will demonstrate that we want to be the best parliament in the world when it comes to treating everyone who works here with dignity and respect.

"This is a major step in bringing about the culture change that Parliament needs."

The survey, open to various staff who work across Westminster, received responses from 1,377 people.

The fifth of workers reporting sexual harassment included witnessing sexually inappropriate behaviour and featured double the number of female respondents than male.

The recommendations will now be considered by both Houses of Parliament, with a debate set to begin in late February.

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