British MPs under fire for sexual improprieties

I mentioned that I was surprised that the avalanche of sexual harassment charges against powerful men in the film and news media industries had not spread to political figures such as sitting members of Congress. But it turns out that in the UK it has, with various MPs being accused and now the secretary of defense Michael Fallon has resigned.

There is apparently a spreadsheet that has been created with charges against various MPs though the accusations are anonymous.

It is a list that nobody wants to be on: a spreadsheet with the names of 40 Tory MPs and ministers and allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, almost all of which are unverified.

The document has been shared widely among MPs, staff and increasing numbers of journalists, and briefly describes some as having affairs, being “inappropriate” with female and male staff or in other cases as “handsy in taxis”.

Some are allegations which, if proved to be true, could end a political career, such as serial inappropriateness and groping, to consensual affairs and sexual peccadilloes.

First leaked to the Guido Fawkes website with 36 names on it, the file has now expanded to 40, all Tory MPs, including 15 ministers of various ranks.

It is a bit surprising that only Conservative MPS are on the list but that may only be a short-term situation. The creator of the spreadsheet Guido Fawkes says that ” This is not just a Tory problem and there are a significant number of Labour and LibDem sex pests as well”. So stay tuned.

I suspect that it is only a matter of time before a similar spreadsheet about the US Congress becomes created, especially as more and more people feel emboldened to speak out.

Jordan Klepper discusses this issue on his show.


  1. jrkrideau says

    Should be a great season for by-elections coming up.

    Given the number of Tories being accused and possibly resigning, what does this do to the Government’s majority even with the DUP?

    I’m making the possibly unwarranted assumption that the Tories will be losing members earlier that Labour or the Liberal Democrats.

  2. EigenSprocketUK says

    Guido Fawkes is the nom de plume of Paul Staines, political blogger. Not unafraid of printing alternative facts or stuff that just doesn’t stand up.
    It’s not clear that he generated the spreadsheet: it may be a collated version of names previously passed in secret (woman to woman, of course).
    The resignation may have more to do with genuine recent and historical indiscretions, including criminal conduct, known to party organisers but which has so far not been reported to police. Yet those who have deliberately not reported reasonable suspicion of criminal acts have, so far, not been held to account. They may even have been promoted.
    Strange times.
    As jrkrideau says, the barely-propped up government is now looking even more in danger of collapse.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    Correcting a common misconception: Fallon has resigned from the post of defence secretary. He remains an MP. Thus no by-election and no danger to the coalition’s “majority”.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    To be clear -- what Fallon has experienced is a pay cut. He’ll no longer receive his ministerial pay of £145,492. Instead he’ll collect only his parliamentary salary of £65,738… plus generous expenses of course. Expenses he has fiddled in the past, and when questioned about over-claiming, blamed the people asking the questions for not bringing it to his attention before. He remains the MP for Sevenoaks in Kent. No Conservative MP capable of drawing breath will be allowed to leave the Commons before 2022, for precisely the reason jkrideau brings up -- the prospect of a by-election, even in a “safe seat”, is unthinkable. Right now if you’re a Tory MP your only escape is the sweet embrace of Death. It is, I think, the only reason Theresa May hasn’t already parlayed her horrible cough into a full-on debilitating illness and “regretfully” stepped down. That and the fact that none of the shower standing behind her want the job until she’s properly screwed up Brexit so they can blame it on her and ride to the rescue.

    Worst PM since Chamberlain. Actually possibly worse than him -- at least we eventually won the war. There’s no winning Brexit.

  5. jrkrideau says

    # 4 sonofrojblake
    Good point to make especially for people not used to a British parliamentary form of government.

    My comments re by-elections assumed that as the scandal(s) roll on that we likely will be seeing actual resignations from Parliament, not just the Cabinet. I was naively thinking that public pressure would force some Tory MPs to resign but you are right, “if you’re a Tory MP your only escape is the sweet embrace of Death”.

    Heck Tory whips are probably ordering leg shackles to chain reluctant MPs to the benches.

    From Canada, it is easy to see that the May Gov’t is pretty rickety but I don’t think I had quite grasped just what a desperate situation they are in.

    Somewhat OT but I see that May has replaced Fallon with Gavin Williamson, the Chief Whip.He seems to have a wry sense of humour.

  6. sonofrojblake says

    I don’t think I had quite grasped just what a desperate situation they are in.

    Forgiveable, totally. It’s just barely credible. Meanwhile the opposition, in the person of Harriet Harperson, have decided that nobody has reminded the world they’ve got an anti-semitism problem for a while, so she’s decided to kick that kosher hornet’s nest. Well done, Harriet. Well done. FFS.

  7. jrkrideau says

    From a quick glance at the Guardian, it looks like Harperson’s social awareness is a bit lacking.

    What next? The Lib-Dems will be accused of eating kittens?

  8. KG says

    The list supposedly came from the Tory whips’ office, and was intended for use in keeping the MPs listed in line -- that’s why it’s Tories only. This blackmailing is arguably worse than most of the alleged actions or tendencies listed.

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