‘Denis MacShane Put His Finger Up My Bum’

Interesting article on sexual harassment in the Guardian today from Laura Kipnis, author of Unwanted Advances. She tells the story of one of her own #MeToo moments, at the hands of an aspiring politician:

“The culprit was a future MP and Europe minister, the friend of a friend. We were in a group of people heading into a restaurant, and this guy, later to become so politically illustrious, who was walking behind me, and whom I’d met maybe 10 minutes before, reached forward and goosed me.

By goosed, I don’t mean he touched me on my butt, but in my butt, through the thin skirt I was wearing. I turned around and glared at him – I was young, jetlagged, and confused. Was this customary in Britain? What he’d done felt humiliating. I turned ahead and resolutely kept walking, whereupon he did it again.

mdi-timer 15th January 2018 @ 12:33 pm 15th Jan 2018 @ 12:33 pm mdi-comment Comments
Pressure on UKIP’s Bolton to Quit or Dump Jo Marney

Pressure building on badger-chasing UKIP leader Henry Bolton after the Mail on Sunday splashed racist messages about Meghan Markle from his new girlfriend Jo Marney. UKIP Chairman Paul Oakden told the Sunday Politics Bolton has “difficult decisions to make”, signalling he should either resign or dump the 25-year-old topless model. Meanwhile, UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge has called for Bolton to resign. Which would you choose?

mdi-timer 14th January 2018 @ 12:22 pm 14th Jan 2018 @ 12:22 pm mdi-comment Comments
Mark Garnier Cleared

Number 10 say:

“Following allegations of sexual misconduct, the Prime Minister asked the Cabinet Office to look into the behaviour of Mark Garnier MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade. The Cabinet Office’s investigation primarily considered Mr Garnier’s behaviour as a Minister, but also heard evidence from before he was appointed to government. 

The Cabinet Office concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that Mr Garnier’s conduct as a Minister since 2016 had breached the expected standards of behaviour. The Prime Minister’s view is therefore that Mr Garnier did not break the Ministerial Code while holding government office.

“The Cabinet Office also took evidence in relation to an incident that happened before Mr Garnier was a Minister, between Mr Garnier and a member of his parliamentary and constituency staff. The Cabinet Office concluded that there was no dispute about the facts of the incident, but there was a significant difference of interpretation between the parties, and that the member of staff in Mr Garnier’s office was distressed by what had occurred.

“It was not his intention to cause distress, and Mr Garnier has apologised unreservedly to the individual. On that basis the Prime Minister considers that a line should be drawn under the issue.”

Turns out the ministerial code says you can’t lie about porn but you can ask your researcher to buy sex toys…

mdi-timer 21st December 2017 @ 4:40 pm 21st Dec 2017 @ 4:40 pm mdi-comment Comments
Vaz Investigation “Suspended For Medical Reasons”

A few weeks ago Guido asked what had happened to the Standards Commissioner’s investigation into Keith Vaz, which still hasn’t reported back after nearly a year and a half. Today the ongoing investigations list has been updated to reveal that the Vaz inquiry has been “suspended for medical reasons”. It’s certainly true that Vaz has gone missing in recent weeks – he didn’t vote between 18 October and 13 December and he’s only spoken in the Commons once in the last month. He did however manage a trip to the Middle East earlier this month and to vote on the EU withdrawal bill last week. Get well soon…

UPDATE: Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told Guido:

“It’s deeply disappointing but not surprising. If Vaz is not fit to be held to the standards expected of a parliamentarian then he’s not fit enough to be a parliamentarian and we should be expecting a by-election.”

UPDATE II: Guido is reminded that slippery Vaz also went ill around the time of 2001 election when previous serious allegations against him were made. He went to ground for several weeks and so avoided Michael Crick. It’s hard to doorstep a sick man…

mdi-timer 21st December 2017 @ 11:59 am 21st Dec 2017 @ 11:59 am mdi-comment Comments
Clive Lewis Investigation Dropped

The Labour Party’s investigation into Clive Lewis for sexual harassment has been dropped. Lewis was accused last month of giving a woman’s bottom “a big squeeze” at a party conference event, which he denied. He did not have the whip withdrawn. A Labour party spokesperson said:

“After consideration of statements provided by the complainant and the respondent, the NEC’s sexual harassment panel has ruled that on the balance of the evidence the matter should not be referred to a full hearing of the national constitutional committee. The Labour party will not be commenting further on this case.”

In October Lewis apologised after telling an activist: “get on your knees, b*tch”. Brocialists looking out for each other…

mdi-timer 12th December 2017 @ 9:06 am 12th Dec 2017 @ 9:06 am mdi-comment Comments
Where Are the Dirty Dozen’s Promised Reports, Investigations and Decisions?

The Brexit noise is helpfully letting both the government and the Labour Party sit on the promised reports, investigations and decisions which followed the recent string of Westminster scandals. Here’s Guido’s run-down of the unfinished business from the past few weeks (and earlier)…

Jared O’Mara: Jared hasn’t been seen in Westminster since the scandal around him erupted in October and he hasn’t voted in the months since. He – or more likely, his whip – is submitting a number of very general written questions and signing the odd EDM to give the impression things are still ticking over. Jared is still under investigation after losing the Labour whip. He’s been off for weeks…

Keith Vaz: An investigation into Vaz by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is somehow still ongoing after a complaint was made about his rent boys and coke binge in September 2016 (Kathryn Hudson better hurry-up, she’s due to step-down by the end of this year). Vaz hasn’t voted since 18 October, though he did speak in the House last week. He is currently rumoured to be on a trip to the Middle East…

Damian Green: Westminster was on tenterhooks awaiting the release of Sue Gray’s report last week, but it didn’t materialise. It was rumoured to be on the agenda again yesterday but failed to appear. Putting off the inevitable seems to be distracting Damian from his job liaising with the DUP…

Mark Garnier: Remains under Cabinet Office investigation after the Mail on Sunday reported allegations in October that he sent an aide to buy sex toys and called her “sugar tits“. What on earth are they doing, interrogating the sex shop owner?

Kelvin Hopkins: Former Shadow Culture Secretary Kelvin Hopkins lost the Labour whip in November. The party is still investigating a complaint that Hopkins sent inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate physical contact at a student event in 2014. He is voting in line with Labour but hasn’t spoken since 25 October. No update from Labour…

Ivan LewisLabour is still investigating a complaint against Lewis, who denied allegations of sexual harassment after a woman said he touched her leg and invited her to his house when she was 19. He hasn’t voted since 31 October or spoken in the chamber since 25 October. No update…

Dan Poulter: MPs say they haven’t seen Dr Dan around Westminster since the Sunday Times reported allegations against him on 5 November. His office told the BBC he’s “on sick leave”. He last voted on 31 October and hasn’t spoken in the chamber since 11 July. The new Conservative Party disciplinary committee is yet to report its findings… 

Charlie Elphicke: Elphicke’s friends say is still unaware of what allegations have been made against him. He was told in November that allegations had been passed to the police, but there has been no news of any action. In the meantime, Elphicke is still without the whip. The chairman of his association recently backed him…

Stephen CrabbThe former Welsh Secretary is still under investigation by the Conservative Party for allegedly sexting a 19-year-old who applied for a job in his office in 2013. No update…

Chris Pincher: He resigned as a government whip after allegations in the Mail on Sunday that he had un-tucked the shirt of a male Tory. Pincher referred himself to the police. No news as to the outcome…

Daniel KawczynskiReferred to the Tories new disciplinary committee in November following allegations that he pressured a young researcher to go on a date with a businessman ‘older than her father’. Nothing heard yet…

Jack LoprestiA former staff member complained about Lopresti’s behaviour and a probe was launched last week. The complaint came via the Tories’ new code of conduct hotline…

What do Sue Gray, Kathryn Hudson and the Tory and Labour party internal inquiries get up to all day?

mdi-timer 5th December 2017 @ 4:15 pm 5th Dec 2017 @ 4:15 pm mdi-comment Comments
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