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Boris Johnson news – live: Neil Parish vows to stay on as MP after ‘porn-watching’ claims

Opposition parties have called on him to resign as MP for Tiverton and Honiton in east Devon

Neil Parish MP speaks in Commons debate one day after porn-watching allegation

A Tory who had the whip withdrawn over claims that he watched pornography in Parliament has vowed to stay on as MP.

Neil Parish – who was today identified as the accused – was suspended from the House of Commons pending an investigation into the claims. He has referred himself for investigation by Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone.

Opposition parties have called on him to resign as MP for Tiverton and Honiton in east Devon.

But in a statement released on his website, the Commons environment committee chair said he hopes to continue with his work as an MP at least until the probe ends.

He said: “I will be cooperating fully with any investigation, and whilst it is ongoing I will continue to perform my duties as MP for Tiverton and Honiton. I will not be making further comments at this stage.”

The allegations against Mr Parish were made by a female MP earlier this week. She said she had been sat next to a male MP inside the chamber when she noticed he was watching pornographic content on his phone.

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Watching porn in Commons ‘completely unacceptable,’ says Tory minister

More from Anne-Marie Trevelyan now, who this morning described allegations that a Tory MP watched pornography in the Commons as “completely unacceptable”.

However, the cabinet minister declined to go as far as saying the unnamed politican should be sacked.

“I haven’t had the chance to talk to the chief whip, and I know the ladies in question who apparently saw this completely, completely inappropriate activity have been encouraged to use the formal system in the House of Commons to be able to report it and I hope very much that they will or indeed have, I don’t know, and that the system will demonstrate if that was the case, exactly what the punishment should be for that sort of inappropriate behaviour,” the international trade secretary told Sky News.

She also said she had full confidence in the Tory party’s chief whip, Chris Heaton-Harris, to “take a decision that’s appropriate”.

It follows criticism by Labour leader Keir Starmer that Boris Johnson should launch an investigation no matter what those who made the allegations decide to do - in terms of reporting their allegations officially - because Mr Heaton-Harris knows the name of the MP in questions.

He said on Thursday there was “nothing wrong with the independent process, but I think the Tory Party, they know who this is, they should take action now”.

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‘Bad week for politics,’ Labour’s McFadden says amid sexism row

It has been a “bad week for politics”, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the treasury has said, amid mounting allegations of sexism and misogyny at Westminster.

Speaking moments after claims made by cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, that she was once “pinned up against a wall” by a male MP who told her she “must want him” (see 8.25 post), Pat McFadden said: “This behaviour does nothing for politics.”

He added to Sky News:

“These things seem out of time, and women today, whether in politics or journalism, or any other workplace, are clearly not going to put up with the kind of language and behaviour that we’ve seen this week, or that we might have seen years or decades ago.

“If I had one conclusion from the whole thing it’s that all of this just seems out of time with the age we’re living in.

“It’s 2022, it’s not some time decades ago. So these behaviours do no good for politics and that matters, because this is the arena whereby the nation has to work out its problems.”

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Tory minister reveals she was ‘pinned up against a wall by a male MP’

Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said a male MP once pinned her against a wall and told her she “wants him”, as she revealed the scale of sexual harassment at Westminster.

The international trade secretary said female MPs were still subjected to “wandering hands” and other forms of abuse, saying she had been touched inappropriately around half a dozen times, Adam Forrest reports.

Asked what form the harassment had taken, she told LBC: “You might describe it as being pinned up against a wall by a male MP – who is no longer in the House I’m pleased to say – declaring I must want him because he was a powerful man.”

It comes amid multiple accusations of sexism and misogyny at Westminster, one of which involves a Tory MP allegedly watching pornography in the Commons chamber.

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Watch: 'Keep your hands in your pockets', Tory minister tells male MPs

'Keep your hands in your pockets', Tory minister tells male MPs
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Ten times Westminster was embroiled in sleaze

The shadow of “Westminster sleaze” again looms over the Houses of Parliament following the emergence of a fresh spate of lurid allegations about the behaviour of Britain’s elected representatives.

An unnamed Conservative MP is reportedly facing suspension from his party after being accused of watching a pornographic video on his smartphone in the Commons in full view of colleagues.

Meanwhile, a female Labour MP has claimed she was the made the subject of “vulgar sexual comments” by a member of her own party, casting further light on the casual sexism women in politics face every day following the furore caused by a Mail on Sunday story published over the weekend, in which another unnamed Tory MP made accusations of a sexual nature against Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner.

Of course, this is hardly the first time in living memory that the conduct of Britain’s political leaders has been found wanting – here is an overview of some of the biggest scandals of the last 30 years, as reported by Joe Sommerlad.

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‘If you’re a bloke, keep your hands in your pockets,’ Tory minister tells MPs

Doing the government’s media round this morning, trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan had a message for male MPs at Westminster: keep your hands to yourself.

Asked about parliament’s ongoing sexism and misogyny row – sparked by comments made about Angela Rayner’s legs, claims that a member of the shadow cabinet made lewd remarks to a Labour MP, and allegations of porn-watching in the Commons – Ms Trevelyan said there was a “fundamental” resolve.

“If you’re a bloke, keep your hands in your pockets and behave as you would if you had your daughter in the room,” she told Sky News.

It followed the minister’s claims that “all of us, as woman in parliament, have been subjected to inappropriate language and wandering hands”.

However, she stressed this wasn’t the case for everyone: “The vast majority of the men I work with are delightful, they’re committed parliamentarians they’re passionate about the causes the fight.”

But Ms Trevelyan went on: “There are a few for whom too much drink, or indeed a view that somehow being elected makes them God’s gift to women and that they can suddenly please themselves. That is never okay, that kind of disrespect for women.”

She added: “It’s never okay anywhere and it’s not okay at Westminster either.”

The Tory MP also insisted parliament now had “frameworks” for allowing women to report such behaviour – presumably a reference to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), which was set up in the wake of the Me Too movement and is where the Tory chief whip on Thursday referred the porn-watching MP claim to.

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Watch: Johnson says pornography in Commons is unacceptable

Johnson: Pornography in Commons is unacceptable
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Good morning

Hello, Sam Hancock here, I’m taking over our UK politics coverage now.

Stay tuned for the latest updates.

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PM to admit he was at No 10 ‘Abba’ party

Prime minister Boris Johnson is to admit he was present in his Downing Street flat during the lockdown-busting “Abba party” — but only in order to conduct a job interview with a close friend of his wife.

Mr Johnson has previously refused to say whether he was at the 13 November 2020 gathering, which was held to mark the departure of Dominic Cummings.

Last week, the prime minister told Tory MPs it was “a work event” — lifting the lid on the evidence he is likely to have given the police and Sue Gray’s stalled Cabinet Office inquiry.

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MP accused of watching porn could be suspended from parliament, hints minister

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has hinted that the Tory MP accused of watching porn in the Commons chamber could be expelled by the party, suspended from parliament and face a recall petition.“He could lose the whip,” Mr Wallace told LBC.

“It’s something I would support, that he loses the whip ... But let’s see how the facts develop in the investigation.”He added:

“I think that’s one of the sanctions. It could be worse. If the Commons authorities feel it is egregious enough, he could end up having a recall petition in his constituency or be suspended from parliament.”

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