Independent Expert Panel recommends six week suspension for Mr Rob Roberts MP for breach of Parliament’s Sexual Misconduct Policy
25 May 2021
The Independent Expert Panel (IEP) has today published their report which finds Mr Rob Roberts, MP for Delyn, breached Parliament’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The Reporter made a complaint under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme of the House of Commons.
The Reporter alleged that there had been breaches of Parliament’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, namely that during the brief period he worked for Mr Rob Roberts MP, Mr Roberts made repeated and unwanted sexual advances towards the reporter, using his position as his employer to place him under pressure to accede. Mr Rob Roberts MP also made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature and was overly intrusive about his personal life.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found that the Mr Roberts had acted in breach of Parliament’s sexual misconduct policy. Mr Roberts appealed the Commissioner’s decision and the case was referred to the Independent Expert Panel.
The Panel determined that Mr Rob Roberts MP should be suspended from the House for six weeks. This decision was upheld on appeal. The suspension can only be imposed following a motion in the House.
The process for a petition under the Recall of MPs Act 2015 is not triggered by a suspension imposed on the recommendation of the Panel. For a recall to be initiated, the sanction must be imposed on the recommendation of the Committee on Standards, or another Committee of the House of Commons concerned with standards of conduct.
Sir Stephen Irwin, Chair of the IEP has said: “The misconduct demonstrated here was significant. It is evident that Mr Roberts MP was in a very powerful position as an employer in relation to the Reporter. Our conclusion is that the determination of six weeks suspension from the service of the House was proper and proportionate.”
The full report is available here.
The members of the IEP are as follows: Mrs Lisa Ball, Monica Daley, Mrs Johanna Higgins, Sir Stephen Irwin (Chair), Professor Clare McGlynn, Miss Dale Simon, Sir Peter Thornton, Dr Matthew Vickers
Further details of the members can be found on the IEP webpages here.
Read the 23 June 2020 debate on the IEP in Hansard.