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Female MP alleges she was touched inappropriately by another British MP

Female MP alleges she was touched inappropriately by another British MP

The MP says the incident happened on an overseas visit by lawmakers.
A female MP told POLITICO she had been touched inappropriately by another MP on an overseas visit. 

The MP said the incident, with a male MP more than 25 years her senior, occurred on a trip to a European country last year organized by an all-party parliamentary group, cross-party groups of MPs and peers with a shared interest. Details of the trip have been seen and verified by POLITICO.

She subsequently reported the man she accuses to his party whips, MPs in charge of party discipline, as she did not have confidence in the formal complaints process of his party or in the parliamentary complaints system, and did not believe that a complaint would result in any consequences for him.

She said of the trip: “What I was struck by is how much alcohol was consumed — pretty much every night till two or three in the morning.” 

She added she had avoided the late-night booze sessions as she did not find it appropriate, and that if she had been present she would not necessarily feel safe.

A number of British MPs have been accused of using parliamentary trips abroad as an opportunity for inappropriate behavior and even the covert use of sex workers, POLITICO reported last week as part of the ongoing investigation into these parliamentary groups. 

Many of the claims relate to the activities of “country APPGs” — backbench cross-party groups made up of MPs and peers with a focus on a single country or a group of countries. The allegations also come as Westminster struggles to confront a wave of bullying and sexual harassment allegations.

The female MP said since the visit she had tried to avoid the alleged perpetrator in parliament wherever possible — sometimes by walking out of the room or walking with others in order to protect herself.

Despite this, she said that she regularly bumps into him, and he usually attempts to engage in conversation. 

APPGs are subject to less stringent rules than the House of Commons’ better-known select committees, but are still able to use parliamentary premises for their meetings and tend to make regular trips abroad, funded by overseas governments or private companies.

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