Parliament’s independent expert panel has recommend a hammer-blow six week suspension for Rob Roberts.
The report details “a serious and persistent breach of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, with several aggravating factors”. It also details that Roberts’s actions had a significant impact on his victim, including him having to leave his employment. They concluded that powers off sanction were insufficient and that a period of suspension was appropriate.
The lengthy report confirms Roberts appealed the initial findings on there grounds six weeks was “unreasonable and disproportionate”, also pointing to a potential £5,274 loss of earnings. The panel rejected his appeal however, saying his arguments all revolved around the impact on him and barely acknowledging the impact on the former member of staff who made the complaint.
“Essentially, his response was that he had not understood what was being asked of him. In our view this was a telling response, underscoring the degree of self-absorption still prevalent in the Responder”
UPDATE: The complainant at the heart of the case tells Guido:
“I am very relieved that the report published today has found that Rob Roberts committed a serious and malicious breach of policies put in place to protect staff from sexual misconduct, and I welcome the recommendation by the Panel that he be suspended from the service of the House.
“This has been a long process, and I am grateful to the Commissioner, the Investigator, and the members of the various panels for their considered approach in this case.
“I hope that the House will now reflect on the findings in the report, and take quick action to uphold the suspense.
“I am pleased that this has shown the complaints procedure does work, and I hope it gives confidence to others to come forward.”
Read the report in full: