Last autumn Westminster MP’s faced allegations of harassment and bullying and victims were promised that a new independent complaints procedure would be introduced and advised to report any allegations of serious sexual abuse to the Police. Victims of abuse have told the BBC that “ nothing has changed and others are affected and still too frightened to come forward.”
Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons has said that she is “determined to push complaints through” amidst victims suggesting that “forces are trying to scupper plans for a new complaints system.” The new complaints procedure is due to be published next week.
James Greenhalgh who made allegations last autumn that he was sexually assaulted by a former MP in 2012, has said that he is aware of someone who has suffered a similar experience to him, but they felt unable to come forward.
Mr Greenhalgh told the BBC in the autumn that he was sexually assaulted.
He reported that, “he was approached outside one of the bars in the House of Commons by the man who put his arm around him and then went on to assault him.”
“He literally put his arm around me, very close, stinking of alcohol I remember and pointing out different things on the canvas [painting].
I was interested to hear what he had to say, but I was thinking, this is very, this is very touchy-feely here – what’s he doing?
And suddenly his arm slipped down towards my buttocks, and he had a good feel round there and went a bit further in between my legs.
It wasn’t very pleasant at all. I just didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know what to do at all.”
When he tried to report the matter a couple of months later he was told by the MP’s Party that “he couldn’t make the complaint anonymously so he did not proceed.”
It is the view of Mr Greenhalgh that nothing has changed since he made his complaint.
“My view is – almost as if when allegations came out, the tide went out and exposed the nasty rock pools. The tide has come back in and no-one is acting because they can’t see it,”
However, Ms Leadsom has confirmed that she is,
“focused on reaching the point when anyone can come forward and complain about any single person they work with or interact with in the knowledge the complaint will be taken seriously.
I’m absolutely determined that we will have resolution of this and in short order.
For me the key to this is to create and promote a culture that makes this a great place to work and is a role model for other parliaments and places round the world.”