NINE MPs FACE SEX PEST ALLEGATIONS
Gove gaffe as list of shame grows
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