STAFF ASKED IF BOSSES NEED CONSENT Fury at MPs’

MPs and se­nior fig­ure saw drunk young women on bat­tle bus as easy tar­gets

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & - By Nigel Nel­son PO­LIT­I­CAL EDITOR

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.”

Cross

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.

Ex­ploited

“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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