Politics Explained

Is there a bullying culture at Westminster?

The findings of the inquiry into Keith Vaz’s conduct while in office are just the latest in a series of damaging revelations of bullying and sexual harassment towards Commons staff, writes Andrew Grice

Thursday 23 September 2021 18:16
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<p>Former MP Keith Vaz engaged in ‘sustained and unpleasant’ bullying, according to a Commons report published on Thursday </p>

Former MP Keith Vaz engaged in ‘sustained and unpleasant’ bullying, according to a Commons report published on Thursday

Keith Vaz, a former Labour MP, was guilty of “sustained and unpleasant bullying” which had an “enduring psychological impact” on a female Commons clerk, according to the Commons Independent Expert Panel.

Mr Vaz, who chaired the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, should be banned for life from the Palace of Westminster and never handed back the security pass normally given to ex-MPs, the panel ruled. He lost his pass over a separate breach of the Commons code of conduct.

The panel’s chair, Sir Stephen Irwin, said Mr Vaz’s misconduct led to the complainant Jenny McCullough leaving her Commons career, adding: “He should be ashamed of his behaviour.” Mr Vaz has rejected the ruling and is considering legal action.

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