Theresa May apologised this week for “too many abuses of power” over “too many years” as she and other party leaders agreed a new complaints system to tackle sexual harassment at Westminster. The three main parties all stand accused of having brushed allegations of rape under the carpet, and there have been a slew of other, less grave accusations against MPS and officials, ranging from inappropriate language to groping. The Tories and Labour are both running multiple investigations into their MPS and frontbenchers. Among the individuals facing scrutiny was Carl Sargeant, a former Welsh Labour minister, who died this week in an apparent suicide.
The sleaze scandal led to the resignation last week of Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who was accused of having made unwelcome advances towards two female journalists. Damian Green, May’s de facto deputy, was also accused of having made inappropriate overtures to a young activist. He denied doing so, and dismissed claims that police had found pornography on a computer in his Westminster office in 2008 as “disreputable political smears”.