Are male MPs better at behaving badly? Just look at the latest Tory sleaze scandal

The defining feature of this latest round of Tory sleaze is its complete and overwhelming maleness, writes Marie Le Conte

Tuesday 09 November 2021 12:55
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<p>Owen Paterson resigned as MP for North Shropshire in the fallout </p>

Owen Paterson resigned as MP for North Shropshire in the fallout

There is an angle to the current sleaze omnishambles that has received little attention so far, and which I would like to bring up. In order to do so, I need to run through the events of the past week again.

In short, it all began when the standards committee investigated the extracurricular activities of Owen Paterson (a man) and concluded he should be suspended from the Commons for 30 days. The vote was set for last Wednesday; in the days leading up to it, MPs and allies of Paterson including Bernard Jenkin (a man) set out to try and spare their friend, and change the system altogether.

An amendment was drafted, but Paterson’s pals felt none of them could put their name to it as it would look like a stitch up. Instead, they convened in the office of chief whip Mark Spencer (a man) and asked Andrea Leadsom (a woman) to put forward the amendment herself. If passed, it would replace the current system with a new committee of MPs, chaired by John Whittingdale (a man).

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