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Commons standards chief says he was ‘groped’ in Westminster as young MP

The chair of Westminster’s standards committee has said he was “touched up” by male MPs when he arrived in the House of Commons as a young gay man.

Labour’s Chris Bryant told LBC radio that he never reported the incidents because he did not want to be “part of the story”, but would do so if it happened now.

Mr Bryant’s claims come amid a rash of allegations of harassment and abuse of women in parliament.

Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has said she was pushed up against a wall by a male MP when visiting as a volunteer before she was herself elected. And there have been reports of female staff members being groped in Commons bars and MPs being subjected to misogynistic nicknames.

Rhondda MP Mr Bryant, 60, who entered parliament in 2001 and is now chair of the Commons Standards Committee, told LBC: “I remember when I came in I was regularly touched up by older, senior gay – they weren’t out – MPs.

“I never felt I was able to report it because you end up being part of the story, that’s the last thing you want.

“I think a lot of women have been through that.”

He added: “I can think of four MPs… I was shocked at the time… none of them are out of course. I think that I now if anybody would do that I would be absolutely robust.

“I would a call the person out immediately and I would make a complaint.”


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