JEREMY CORBYN called yesterday for MPs to be trained in employment management standards following a wave of sexual abuse allegations engulfing Westminster.
The Labour leader also urged all parliamentary staff to join a trade union and an independent body to support victims of mistreatment and harassment by MPs, including help with counselling and the reporting of criminal allegations to police.
He made the suggestions in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May before cross-party talks yesterday that were held to discuss and agree on parliamentary anti-harassment procedures.
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas – who last week called for MPs to be educated on consent – welcomed Mr Corbyn’s proposals but added that any new training programme should come into force immediately rather than after any election.
Researchers and assistants should no longer be directly employed by MPs so that any power imbalances can be redressed, she added.
The sex harassment scandal within Westminster’s corridors involving a number of Tory and Labour MPs was triggered by the dozens of allegations made against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.
At the annual CBI conference yesterday, Mr Corbyn told business leaders: “Such abuse, sexism and misogyny is, sadly, very far from being confined to Hollywood and the corridors of power, but is also widespread in our schools and universities, in our businesses and workplaces, in our newspapers and on our TV screens.
“It is all around us. That must change and business has an essential role to play. All of you — all of us — need to look hard at ourselves, as we in the Labour Party are doing, to see how your processes and procedures can be improved.”
Ms May has defended her handling of the Westminster scandal, which includes fresh allegations against her deputy and First Secretary of State Damian Green, by saying a number of issues that were not publicised have already led to action being taken.
She said during her speech at the CBI conference that people should feel safe to work in an environment with knowledge that complaints will be investigated properly and where “people’s careers cannot be damaged by unfounded rumours” online.