No 10 restrained Cabinet minister and assistant accused of sexual misconduct – reports | Sexual harassment
A cabinet minister and senior aide at 10 Downing Street have continued to work in Boris Johnson’s government despite allegations of sexual misconduct against them, according to reports.
Two women have told firsthand what they claim happened to them when one was assaulted and the other groped by politicians, both now in senior positions.
A former Conservative Party parliamentary staffer, who wished to remain anonymous, relayed details of a sexual assault by an MP who is currently a minister.
She said Sky NewsThe Open Secret Podcast from The Open Secret: “I was sexually assaulted by someone who is now a Cabinet Minister, and I was in my early twenties and didn’t really know how to deal with it. I was super drunk. He gives me more wine and I’m already quite visibly drunk.
“After a while I was like ‘you know, what, would you mind if I just went to bed?’ So I went to bed. But obviously he didn’t leave me alone. And then I woke up the next morning and realized what had happened.
She told her colleagues and the MP she worked for at the time of the incident who encouraged her to report it to the police. But after initial discussions with the police, she chose not to go any further and did not file a formal complaint with the Conservative Party. She said: “I was too scared to start this process and risk it spiraling out of control.”
A Conservative Party spokesperson said: ‘We have an established code of conduct and a complaints procedure where people can report complaints in confidence. We take any complaint seriously.
“If an allegation of foul play is raised, we always advise the individual to contact the police.”
A former Tory aide has also claimed she was groped by a senior No 10 worker before her appointment to a senior Downing Street job.
The woman, who was working at No 10 when she says the incident happened, made several complaints about the man’s appointment, but he remained in the role. She said: ‘I heard he was going to get a job in Downing Street. I raised it with a number of people. Nothing happened. I then lodged a formal complaint with the Cabinet Office. I just felt the responsibility to do it again, partly because the office he’s going to work in is full of women. And I just thought he would do it again.
She also alleged that after hearing the allegation, the man’s boss dismissed it on the grounds that the accused was “handsome and had women throwing themselves at him”.
Charlotte Nichols, the Labor MP for Warrington North, was among many people Sky spoke to who suggested filing complaints could hamper job prospects. She said: ‘To survive Westminster you have to rely on this network of whispers. At the end of the day. It will never be 100% effective. You know, some of the most dangerous people are probably the last people you suspect.
Nichols also recounted her own experience of inappropriate behavior by a senior deputy. “I have been proposed several times by an MP who is old enough to be my grandfather and sometimes in front of other colleagues who laughed at it or said nothing when he did.
“I know from talking to other people that, you know, it’s not unusual behavior for him… It’s something that he clearly feels encouraged to do, that he feels empowered to do. “
A government spokesperson said: ‘We take allegations of misconduct very seriously and there are robust procedures in place to raise concerns. All ministerial appointments also follow established processes.
Regarding the second allegation, they said: “All future government employees are subject to the necessary checks and vetting. We do not comment on individuals.