Gove gaffe as list of shame grows

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Talk Tv - EX­CLU­SIVE BY NIGEL NEL­SON Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor nigel.nel­son@trin­i­tymir­

THREE mar­ried min­is­ters are among nine MPs who have been ac­cused of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour as West­min­ster reels from more al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

A prom­i­nent Labour Party fig­ure is also among those un­der sus­pi­cion.

Mean­while top Tory Michael Gove yes­ter­day landed him­self in hot wa­ter on the BBC’s 60th an­niver­sary To­day pro­gramme by com­par­ing pre­sen­ter John Humphrys to shamed Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein.

The En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary said on Ra­dio 4: “Some­times I think that com­ing into the stu­dio with you, John, is like go­ing into Har­vey We­in­stein’s bed­room. You just pray that you emerge with your dig­nity in­tact.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: “Michael Gove just left the stu­dio with­out his dig­nity.”

And ac­tor Stephen Man­gan, 49 – who starred in Green Wing – wrote: “Here’s a rape joke from Michael Gove to start your day.”

Mr Gove later apol­o­gised “un­re­servedly”. The name most of­ten men­tioned in the cor­ri­dors of power last week is that of a mar­ried Labour back­bencher.

He is al­leged to have groped a wo­man on a for­eign trip. The Tory min­is­ters in­clude one who ad­dresses women as “sugar t*ts,” an­other known for leer­ing, and a third who sug­gested to a wo­man at a busi­ness lunch they should find a ho­tel room for “af­ters”.

A Tory MP was named as one to avoid be­cause he touches women when he talks to them, which they find un­com­fort­able.

And fe­male Com­mons staffers com­plained of an­other back­bench Tory for in­ap­pro­pri­ate ad­vances. He al­legedly had an af­fair with a Com­mons worker al­ready in a re­la­tion­ship with a fel­low Tory MP.

Many of the al­le­ga­tions ap­peared on a What­sApp group for MPs’ of­fice staff and re­searchers – set up so women could share their ex­pe­ri­ences and warn col­leagues who to avoid.

Ms Phillips said: “The bal­ance of power in the build­ing makes it very dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to feel con­fi­dent about speak­ing out and that’s got to change.”

And Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn said yes­ter­day: “Any MPs who have en­gaged in this sort of be­hav­iour must be held to ac­count.”

JOKE Michael Gove

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