Theresa May’s comments urging sexual abuse victims at the Palace of Westminster to go to the police come after it was revealed that female researchers and aides had set up a WhatsApp group to report incidents.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged people working at the Houses of Parliament to report any sexual harassment or abuse to the police.
A Downing Street spokesperson said the PM felt allegations aimed at a number of MPs, including Cabinet members, were “deeply concerning.”
“The reports are very concerning, but I can’t pre-empt allegations or investigations that haven’t come to light yet,” said May’s spokesperson.
It comes after The Sun newspaper reported on Friday, October 27, that female researchers and aides at Westminster have set up a WhatsApp group to share information about incidents.
One minister was accused of being “not safe in taxis” and several MPs were accused of being “very handsy” in elevators.
Harvey Weinstein Is Not Alone
The WhatsApp group was reportedly set up after allegations emerged against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Women working for MPs and peers began discussing groping and sexually suggestive remarks they had suffered over the years.
“The prime minister was very clear when we responded to the reports about Harvey Weinstein in the last few weeks that any unwanted sexual behavior is completely unacceptable, and that is true in any walk of life including politics,” the PM’s spokesperson said.
“Any allegations that may come to light would be taken extremely seriously and we would advise people to contact the police if there is such an allegation.”
Labour Party Urges Victims to Speak Out
The Labour Party has sent out an email to all constituency parties, urging people who have experienced sexual harassment to tell their stories to try and improve the party’s culture and offered them complete anonymity.
The email urges people to report “inappropriate or suggestive remarks”; “indecent comments, jokes or innuendos relating to a person’s looks or private life”; “requests for sexual favours” and the “circulation of pornography or indecent images.”
“The House of Commons takes the welfare of everyone who works in Parliament very seriously,” said a House of Commons spokesperson.
“A free confidential helpline is provided by the House and available 24/7 for all Members’ staff,” they added.