STAFF ASKED IF BOSSES NEED CONSENT Fury at MPs’
MPs and senior figure saw drunk young women on battle bus as easy targets
POLLSTER ComRes was slammed for asking MPs’ staff whether their bosses need special training on how to get consent for sex.
The question was part of a sexual harassment survey sent on Friday to people who work for MPs or peers at Westminster.
Those employed by MPs in their constituencies were also contacted with the quiz.
But a row blew up yesterday because staff thought it was an official survey commissioned by parliamentary authorities.
ComRes chairman Andrew Hawkins, who sent the online questions personally, admitted: “There’s no client. We’re doing this off our own bat.
“We’re not stirring the pot. We’re trying to get at the truth. Some of the data will be published at some point.”
But one horrified staffer said: “I assumed this was for the House. I wouldn’t have completed it if I had known. I’m really cross about it.
“Now I’m worried about how ComRes intend to use my data.”
Tory leader Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Lib Dem leader Vince Cable will also be furious because the results of the questionnaire will reveal which party has the worst record for sex abuse allegations.
Even staff working in the office of Commons Speaker John Bercow are being contacted.
A House of Commons spokeswoman said: “The ComRes survey was not commissioned by Parliament.”
Workers were told their replies will be “strictly anonymous” and Mr Hawkins warned: “This survey includes questions concerning sexual harassment.”
But at no point in his covering letter does he say it is a ComRes initiative.
Staff are asked if they agree or disagree with the statement: “I would fear for my job if I reported an incident of sexual harassment by my boss.”
They are then asked if they believe the issue to be “rife” at Westminster and whether the publicity about sexual harassment now makes them more likely to report it. And it asks whether they would support “making available to people working i n the Commons, including MPs, training on the meaning of consent”.
Mr Hawkins gave staffers a deadline of this coming Friday to complete his online survey. He Victim Lisa Wade told them: “Following recent events and news stories, we are interested to hear about your experience of working in the Palace of Westminster.
“This survey gives you an opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions about your current job.” They are then asked if they feel “overworked”, “excited”, “humbled”, “privileged”, “underpaid”, “exploited”, “undervalued” or “happy” in their jobs.
One question is: “Have you personally experienced sexual harassment in your current job?”
And staff are quizzed on
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