‘I cried almost every day’ Ex-Commons worker details ‘horrifying’ and ‘toxic’ work culture

Ex-Parliament worker claims MP 'grabbed' her waist

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As investigations are underway into allegations of sexual misconduct by at least 56 UK Conservative MPs, including three Cabinet ministers, new complaints are piling up. An unnamed ex-parliament worker told LBC about alleged sexual assaults she was the victim of while working in the House of Commons and how she was forced to remain silent out of fear of ruining a potential career as an MP.

Speaking to LBC’s James O’Brien, the unnamed caller said: “At the end of my time at Parliament, I cried almost every day. It was a really, really negative place.

“And I’m so happy not to be there anymore. And I if I’m being frank, really discourage anyone, any woman from going in there. 

“I can never speak back without fear of losing my job and subsequently, ruining my entire career because, in Westminster, you advance there on word of mouth. Reputation is a whole thing.”

Reflecting on her experience in Westminster, she recalls experiencing sexual harassment.

“When I was very new to Parliament – about 5 to 6 years ago – I encountered an MP coming from a busy lunch or dinner. It was about 7 pm and I was in gym gear, and he looks up my top.

“He lifts up my top, you know he lifts up my top and he said: what are you wearing? You can’t wear this in Parliament. Do you know you work in a palace?

“And he lifts up my top and grabs my waist, like my bare skin. And I remember being so horrified, like not shaking but very sort of still.

“And I remember saying, I complained about it afterwards to a woman. And she says: if you want to a canvas list, you can’t say this.”

“And I think they’re so sort of entrenched in this way of thinking that it’s not weird to them. And in a way, I don’t think they have bad intentions with it. Like it’s normal to them.”

The allegations come as the Conservative Party is accused of misogyny after an unnamed Tory MP accused Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner of trying to distract Prime Minister Boris Johnson with her legs. Another Tory MP is also under investigation for watching pornographic content on his mobile in the House of Commons.

And another 56 MPs are facing probes over allegations of sexual misconduct.

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“I think there’s something about MPs when they get in that position of power. I mean, everyone changes a little bit, I think when they get some power. But you know, it was really bad. It was a really bad work environment”, the ex-parliament worker added.

“And I told fellow females not to apply to jobs for them because I think it’s so toxic.” 

The ex-worker also alleged another MP texted her on WhatsApp, telling her: “I really like what you’re wearing.” She had never given that MP her phone number and got a “hostile response.”

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