With permission, Madam Deputy Speaker, I will make a personal statement to the House.
Last week, the Committee on Standards published a report on my conduct following a complaint from Sir Stephen Irwin, the chair of the independent expert panel, that I had not abided by a determination of the IEP that I apologise unequivocally to the House for my behaviour in bullying members of House of Commons staff. I sincerely apologise for my conduct, which led to this investigation. I acknowledge that in speaking to journalists and the radio, I undermined the sincerity of the apology that I gave the House on
I am conscious that my conduct may have merited suspension from the service of the House for a longer period, and appreciate the Committee’s consideration of the difficulties that I was experiencing in my personal life at the time and the mental health issues that I explained to it. I accept that speaking out in the way I did to the media had a detrimental effect on the House’s conduct policy by undermining the integrity of the complaints process, and I deeply regret my actions. I am committed to learning from the mistakes I have made, and to working on my personal development, especially in my communication with others in every interaction that I have. I hope that others will learn from my experience, and I should be happy to share what I have learnt with others.
The House has rightly worked hard to change its culture so that everyone who comes on to the estate, or has any dealings with Parliament, feels safe from bullying or harassment. I want to do everything I can to assist in that, and I regret that my actions fell short.