Bullying and Harassment of MPS’ Parliamentary Staff

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:20 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 3:20 pm, 17th July 2019

I know that some Members have been arguing for various aspects of the approach that we should take to addressing harassment, sexual harassment and bullying, and I know that there have been issues around the time that it has taken to put into place various aspects of our appropriate response to that. What I am saying from the Dispatch Box this afternoon is that we are now moving with pace. Directly after this debate we will have, as the hon. Gentleman is aware, a motion to bring in and broaden the scope of the ICGS, and that in itself is an example of how we are now moving forward with pace.

However, while recognising the progress made, there should be absolutely no cause for complacency on the various recommendations I have highlighted that have been brought forward by Gemma White. Consideration of the recommendations is of course a matter for the House, and today’s debate is an important part of that process. I say to the hon. Gentleman that the fact that this debate has been brought forward so shortly after the release of the White report is in itself a very healthy sign. We need now to continue to proceed at pace, to come to our conclusions on the recommendations of the report as soon as possible, and to bring forward further much-needed change at the earliest possible opportunity. We owe that to those who do so much to support us as Members of Parliament, but we owe it also to those who send us here and who in turn rightly expect the highest possible standards of each and every one of us.