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Bullying Is Rife In Parliament, MP's Aide Tells LBC

Friday 11th April 2014

An MP's aide has told LBC that bullying is rife in Parliament.

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The claims come after former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans was cleared yesterday of a series of sexual offences.

Speaking to LBC earlier, Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan says claims of sexual harrasment need to be investigated.

One member of staff told us it's impossible to report MPs who abuse their employees.

Speaking on condition on anonymity, they said: "We don't have a human resources department so MPs are free to do what they like. If you do have a problem there is no-one to report it to. I was bullied by an MP and hounded out of my job. I had no recourse and it was very difficult to get back in to parliament as they blackballed me.

"There are several MPs who are notorious for bullying their staff. They have had more tribunals against them than I have had hot dinners but they carry on because they can get away with it. We need to have a human resources department that we can approach for support in these instances.

"In my case, it wasn't just shouting, it was constant undermining and blaming for things whether it had anything to do with me or not. This particular MP actually tried to blame me for losing their front bench position! It's not throughout the Commons but a few MPs are known to be absolute horror shows and nobody does anything about it. What happened to me made me physically ill and I am a pretty strong person.

"There are a few MPs who have been in business who are known to hold appraisals and manage their staff's performance, which is the right thing to do. But there are others who have no idea - it just doesn't occur to them you might be entitled to a pay rise in line with inflation. The Union has been trying to implement this for several years, without success. In fact, the Union is not even officially recognised at the House.

"Don't get me wrong, it is an honour to work here in Parliament. But we work long hours and we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. But we are not in many cases - and when there are cases of bullying, sexual harassment we have nobody to whom we can make a grievance.

"I am grateful to Mr Speaker for establishing the employees' hotline and for the PM for establishing an employer's code of conduct but they do not go far enough. The code of conduct is voluntary and I really cannot imagine many MPs signing up. Not necessarily because they are evil abusers but because most MPs' experience of business is limited. Staff need to be properly represented."