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Furious female Tory MPs demanded a male colleague quit today after he was accused of brazenly watching pornography on his phone while in the Commons.    

The Conservatives have launched an embarrassing investigation after two party politicians made separate allegations about the same man at a meeting to discuss sexism and misogyny in Parliament. 

The MP has not been named, and is not believed to be a minister or other frontbench figure. One female MP told the meeting on Tuesday they had been sat next to him at the time, while a second corroborated it.

There were also claims he did it on other occasions in the chamber, and also while taking part in a Commons committee hearing. 

The Conservative whips office said today that it was investigating, with a spokesman saying: ‘This behaviour is wholly unacceptable and action will be taken.’

Tory MP Pauline Latham MP demanded the man responsible resign, telling GB News: ‘They should go. That will mean their ministerial career is absolutely shot and their parliamentary career probably.

‘It’s just not excusable in any way. It’s totally shocking.’     

The MP has not been named, but one female MP told the meeting they had been sat next to him at the time, while a second corroborated it.

The MP has not been named, but one female MP told the meeting they had been sat next to him at the time, while a second corroborated it.

The MP has not been named, but one female MP told the meeting they had been sat next to him at the time, while a second corroborated it.

A statement from the Conservative whips office said: 'The chief whip (Chris Heaton-Harris, left) is looking into this matter.'

A statement from the Conservative whips office said: 'The chief whip (Chris Heaton-Harris, left) is looking into this matter.'

A statement from the Conservative whips office said: ‘The chief whip (Chris Heaton-Harris, left) is looking into this matter.’

Tory MP Pauline Latham MP demanded the man responsible resign, telling GB News: 'They should go. That will mean their ministerial career is absolutely shot and their parliamentary career probably.'

Tory MP Pauline Latham MP demanded the man responsible resign, telling GB News: 'They should go. That will mean their ministerial career is absolutely shot and their parliamentary career probably.'

Tory MP Pauline Latham MP demanded the man responsible resign, telling GB News: ‘They should go. That will mean their ministerial career is absolutely shot and their parliamentary career probably.’

The MP was said to have been watching pornography while sat in the Commons alongside colleagues

The MP was said to have been watching pornography while sat in the Commons alongside colleagues

The MP was said to have been watching pornography while sat in the Commons alongside colleagues 

MPs’ string of previous pornography woes 

Today’s revelation is not the first time MPs have got into trouble over their porn-watching habits.

In December 2017 Damian Green was sacked as de facto deputy prime minister for lying about claims that police found pornography on a computer in his office a decade earlier. 

The first secretary of state denied viewing inappropriate material on the computer, but a Cabinet Office investigation found Mr Green had issued two ‘inaccurate and misleading’ statements about the 2008 discovery.

In 2014 Conservative MP Karl McCartney denied ‘favouriting’ an explicit image on Twitter after a photo of a naked woman tied to a bed appeared on his account.

The Lincoln MP insisted he had never made use of the ‘favourite’ button on the cult website – used to endorse messages sent by other people.

It came after the ‘graphic’ image showed up on his Twitter account, sparking ridicule online.

Mr McCartney, who is married with two children, removed the image along with ’50 other random tweets’ that had been favourited on his Twitter feed.

Mr McCartney said he was concerned that the site could be exploited by ‘malicious and salacious attempts to embarrass the account holder’ as the general election approaches.

In 2009, then Labour home secretary Jacqui Smith resigned after she claimed two porn films on expenses. 

Her husband, Richard Timney, had to make a public apology after admitting he had ordered them. She lost her Redditch seat in the 2010 election and later said the attention she got was ‘over the top’.

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Ms Latham, Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire, said: ‘I just think there’s no place for it in any workplace. In Parliament, we are supposed to be leaders, and we should be setting a really good example.

‘If people get moved on, they move on, out of the way – there are very talented people who can take their place, so it’s not a case of not having the talent to replace them.

‘It’s a case of having the will to replace them, to make sure that we change the culture.

‘We don’t want this in Parliament, where we are supposed to be leaders of the country.’

Labour’s Anna McMorrin, MP for Cardiff North, echoed Ms Latham’s views.

‘It’s absolutely disgraceful. It just shows how far we have to go to tackle what is going on, the sexism and misogyny,’ she told the broadcaster.

‘We need to see more being done to address this. I mean, what can you say about this? This is just an absolute disgrace, that that would actually happen in the House of Commons.

‘But it’s symptomatic, I think, as well of the culture. We need to be leading. We are sitting in Parliament, we need to be leading from the top showing the rest of the country how it’s meant to be done.

‘And things like making misogyny as a hate crime would go a long, long way to doing that.’

She added: ‘We need to see the government, this Tory government and the Prime Minister, tackling that, and it’s not this is not about the distraction of freedom of speech.

‘This is about making sure that we don’t have sexism, misogyny in our society.

‘We want the girls to be coming through seeing that, actually, politics is a place for them or they can be in the workplace without facing sexism.’

No10 declined to comment on the scandal today. The PM’s press secretary denied the Tories have a problem with sleazy behaviour. 

‘The PM talked in the chamber about there being procedures in place where this can be raised,’ she said. 

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by between 40 and 50 Tory MPs, including Mr Heaton-Harris, Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden and Commons Leader Mark Spencer, according to the Mirror. 

According to the Sun, one attendant of the meeting said: ‘Around 14 MPs got up one after the other to describe their experiences – it was shocking.

‘One MP was left in tears. They wanted the Chief Whip to find the man and kick him out of the party.’

Other allegations raised included one female in aleather skirt being asked ‘What do you do for your day job?’ While a second said a whip ushered MPs into a voting lobby recently by saying ‘Come on, girls!’ 

Northern Ireland Minister Conor Burns told BBC Politics Live the porn-watchingwas ‘wrong’.

‘I’m not going to even attempt to defend it. If the facts are established then action should be taken decisively,’ he said.

Asked about the claim, Tory MP Brandan Clarke-Smith told the same programme it was hard to even get a signal in the chamber, adding: ‘I think it’s unacceptable in any workplace really. I don’t think it’s necessarily unique to the House of Commons. 

‘If someone has done that then quite rightly I would expect there to be some consequences for that.’

At the weekend it was revealed three Cabinet ministers and two shadow cabinet ministers are reportedly facing allegations of sexual misconduct after complaints to Parliament’s harassment watchdog.

Northern Ireland Minister Conor Burns told BBC Politics Live the behaviour was 'wrong'. 'I'm not going to even attempt to defend it. If the facts are established then action should be taken decisively,' he said.

Northern Ireland Minister Conor Burns told BBC Politics Live the behaviour was 'wrong'. 'I'm not going to even attempt to defend it. If the facts are established then action should be taken decisively,' he said.

Northern Ireland Minister Conor Burns told BBC Politics Live the behaviour was ‘wrong’. ‘I’m not going to even attempt to defend it. If the facts are established then action should be taken decisively,’ he said.

The allegations are being investigated by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), the regulator set up in the wake of the ‘Pestminster’ scandal that swept Westminster in 2017.

The Sunday Times reported the five frontbenchers were facing investigations and said the cases were among 56 MPs who had been referred to the ICGS over about 70 separate complaints. The ICGS, which was set up in 2018, declined to comment.

Addressing the issue at Prime minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson said sexual misconduct would be ‘grounds for dismissal’ for ministers.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) said: ‘Fifty six members of this House are under investigation for sexual misconduct. That includes three of his cabinet ministers.

‘The Prime Minister has just rightly said that there can be no place for sexism and misogyny in this House, so can he now confirm whether he considers that sexual harassment, apparently unlike bullying and lying, is grounds for dismissal under the ministerial code?’

Boris Johnson replied: ‘Of course sexual harassment is intolerable and it is quite right that members should now have a procedure by which they can bring that to the attention of the House authorities and I think that is a good thing, and of course it is grounds for dismissal.’

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle last week said he was about to launch a review of working practices in Parliament after several high-profile cases.

Source: Daily Mail

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