Commons chiefs order shake-up of working practices after bullying & sexual harassment scandals

COMMONS chiefs have ordered a shake-up of working practices in the wake of bullying and sexual harassment scandals.

It could lead to MPs being banned from hiring their own staff – giving victimised workers a different “boss” to complain to when they have a grievance.

Under the current system, staff must take up a complaint directly with the MP who is often the perpetrator of the behaviour which makes them feel uneasy.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said a review is “needed urgently” and wants to set up a working group of MPs to consider the case for change.

He said: “I take recent allegations of bullying and sexual impropriety, comments and advances very seriously, which is why it is time we reviewed our working practices, particularly whether it is right that individual MPs are the employers of their staff.

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“The question is, should someone else – or an outside body – employ the staff, as long as the MPs has the right to choose them?

“That is why I am working with the political parties and the House authorities to establish a Speaker’s conference as soon as possible to consider these issues.”

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