'Avoid having a drink with them at all costs': MP reveals secret list of 'MP bullies and sex pests' roaming Westminster

11 November 2022, 10:24 | Updated: 11 November 2022, 10:38

Charlotte Nichols said there is a culture of toxicity in Parliament
Charlotte Nichols said there is a culture of toxicity in Parliament. Picture: Alamy/UK Parliament

By Kit Heren

New members of parliament are given a list of bullies and sex pests to "avoid at all costs", an MP has claimed.

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Parliamentarians are told of the "whisper network" of colleagues, numbering roughly 40, to stay away from, according to Labour MP Charlotte Nichols, who entered the House of Commons in 2019.

The revelation comes after the resignation of Sir Gavin Williamson from Rishi Sunak's Cabinet, after the minister without portfolio was accused of bullying colleagues.

Gavin Williamson resigned amid bullying allegations
Gavin Williamson resigned amid bullying allegations. Picture: Getty

Ms Nichols said that her job would be "perfect" if it were not for the "culture of toxicity" in parliament and the "abuse online" that she receives.

The member for Warrington added that the most dangerous people were often those you might least expect.

Read more: Gavin Williamson quits as Cabinet Office minister amid bullying allegations

Read more: PM still stands by under-fire Gavin Williamson despite claims he told civil servant to 'slit their throat'

Ms Nicholls said: "When I first came into Parliament, there was a group of people that I knew who kind of sat me down and gave me a list of MPs who I should never accept a drink from, who I should never be alone with, who I should never get in a lift with, and who I should try to avoid as far as possible to keep myself safe.

"We all know and nothing is done and they continue to walk around and do their jobs - and there's that kind of culture of impunity on it."

Shelagh Fogarty compares Gavin Williamson to a bully in school

As well as bullying claims against Sir Gavin, parliament has been rocked by two separate sexual abuse allegations recently.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was brought down in part by claims of abuse made against minister Chris Pincher.

And Labour MP Chris Mattheson resigned in October after claims that he made "unwanted sexual advances" against a colleague.

Sir Gavin resigned on Tuesday night, saying that the allegations against him were "becoming a distraction for the good work this Government is doing".

James O'Brien is 'utterly disgusted' by 'infamous coward' Gavin Williamson

It came after claims he sent expletive-laden messages to former chief whip Wendy Morton complaining about being refused an invitation to the Queen's funeral, claims he bullied a former official at the Ministry of Defence and an accusation of "unethical and immoral" behaviour while he was chief whip.

Sir Gavin told PM Mr Sunak: "As you know, there is an ongoing complaints process concerning text messages I sent to a colleague."I am complying with this process and I have apologised to the recipient for those messages.

"Since then, there have been other allegations made about my past conduct. I refute the characterisation of these claims, but I recognise these are becoming a distraction for the good work this Government is doing for the British people.

"I have therefore decided to step back from Government so that I can comply fully with the complaints process that is underway and clear my name of any wrongdoing."

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