Zero tolerance of sexual harassment, harassment and bullying within Parliament

27 February 2018

The Committee on Standards responds to working group report on independent complaints and grievance policy. Members of the Committee are to take forward proposals in the report.

At its meetings on 20 and 27 February, the Committee on Standards discussed the report published on 8 February by the Cross-Party Working Group on an Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy.

Committee members unanimously agreed that the report sets out a welcome commitment to zero tolerance of sexual harassment, harassment and bullying within Parliament.

They expressed their desire to contribute to taking forward the proposals in the report. Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the Committee, has written a letter to the Leader of the House (Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP), who chaired the Working Group, to offer the Committee's assistance.

The letter notes that the Committee on Standards is unique in being a select committee with lay members, and that it contains a pool of expertise, both on the part of the elected members and the independent lay members, which it hopes will prove valuable in this developing process.

The letter also notes that, as is inevitable with such ambitious and far-reaching proposals, there are a number of challenges concerning detail and process, as well as some issues of principle, that will need to be addressed as part of the implementation – the letter gives further details of these.

The Committee is seeking an early meeting with the Leader of the House to discuss these and other matters.

Further information

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