Male Tory frontbencher 'caught watching porn in Commons' next to female minister

27 April 2022, 12:14 | Updated: 27 April 2022, 16:41

A Tory frontbencher was caught watching porn in the House of Commons, it has been claimed.
A Tory frontbencher was caught watching porn in the House of Commons, it has been claimed. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

A male Tory MP has been accused of watching porn on his phone in the House of Commons.

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A female minister told colleagues in Westminster on Tuesday evening about the alleged incident, which is said to have happened in the last few months.

Sources at the meeting of between 40 and 50 Tory MPs, known as the 2022 group, said that former PM Theresa May, who was present for some of the MPs' testimony, looked on “with a face like thunder”.

Conservative chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris is investigating reports that a Tory frontbencher watched pornography on his phone in the Commons chamber, a statement from his office has said.

"This behaviour is wholly unacceptable and action will be taken," the spokesman said.

Read more: 'They shouldn't have to put up with this crap': Minister slams misogynistic Rayner story

Read more: Harman says 'misogyny is alive and well and stalking Commons' after 'sordid' Rayner story

Female politicians grilled the Chief Whip on what was being done to counter sexual harassment following the 'Basic Instinct' claims about Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner.

It's understood that around a dozen female MPs shared accounts of alleged sexism and harassment by fellow Tory MPs during the meeting, the Mirror reports.

Aides to Boris Johnson have insisted the Tory party does not have a problem with misogyny and sexism.

The Prime Minister's press secretary said: "You will have heard the PM address this explicitly in Parliament today and over the last few days, saying there is absolutely no place for such behaviour and this cannot be tolerated in any workplace."

Asked whether watching pornography at work was a sackable offence, she said: "I am not aware of the disciplinary action. Obviously, it is wholly unacceptable behaviour and it is being looked into."

It comes amid a sexism row, after Ms Rayner was accused of trying to distract Boris Johnson in the Commons by crossing and uncrossing her legs.

This was compared to Sharon Stone's infamous scene in the film Basic Instinct.

The Mail on Sunday report sparked outrage across the political spectrum, and included a quote from an MP that Ms Rayner "knows she can't compete with Boris's Oxford Union debating training, but she has other skills which he lacks".

Ms Rayner has slammed the "lies" being briefed about her as she "consciously" decided to wear trousers in her first TV interview since the MoS article.

She told ITV's Lorraine: "I feel like I'm being judged for what I wear, rather than what I'm saying to you."

It comes after reports that 56 MPs, including three Cabinet ministers, are facing allegations of sexual misconduct after being reported to Parliament's Independent Complaints and Grievance scheme.