‘Some Rotten Apples’: Senior Conservative Minister Denies Institutional Misogyny | Quasi Quarting

The government is facing intense pressure from its MPs and opposition parties to take action over misogyny and harassment in Westminster after a senior minister denied there were institutional problems, saying the problem was simply “some rotten apples”.

A day after Conservative MP Neil Parrish resigned for viewing pornography in the House of Commons, and as more allegations surfaced about seemingly endemic sexual misconduct, a former Tory minister said Kwasi Quarting’s comments had been “rejected and underestimated” by women MPs’ experiences.

Labor has warned that Westminster’s toxic culture has been exacerbated by Downing Street’s inaction, while its deputy leader, Angela Rayner, Written to Boris Johnson On reports that the 10th birthday party saw the handing out of the ‘Sexist of the Year’ award.

Kwarteng, the business minister, faced heavy criticism after rejecting the idea of ​​ingrained sexism in Parliament, arguing that the problems were mainly caused by long working hours and overwork, and that too few MPs overstayed.

“I don’t think there is a culture of misogyny,” he told Sky News. “I think the problem we have is that people work in a really intense environment, there are long hours and I generally think most people know their limits.”

Later speaking to Radio Times, he said the problem was with “some rotten apples,” who should be punished, adding, “But that doesn’t mean the whole culture is misogynistic or full of male entitlements. I don’t know that.”

Caroline Knox, the former Conservative minister who chairs the Women and Equality Committee, said Carting’s view contrasted with the testimony of several MPs.

“Colleagues shared examples of assaults and micro-aggressions they face every day, which were dismissed by a senior Cabinet member as a result of long hours of work,” she said. Once again, the experiences of female representatives are ignored and belittled. This in itself is a classic example of institutionalized sexism.”

Wendy Chamberlain, chair of the Liberal Democrat whip, said Korting was “deceiving himself”. She said, “This isn’t a few rotten apples, it’s culture rotten to the core. In the same week that two of his deputy quits and his female colleagues complained, the worst thing he could do was belittle and dismiss it.”

Keir Starmer argued that through a series of misconduct cases, the government either tried to ignore the problem or delay any forceful action, saying, “their first instinct is to shove it into the tall grass, and hide what’s going on.”

“This is a political problem, because a fish rots from the head, and there has to be political leadership on this as well,” he told Sky News. “And we haven’t seen that yet from the Conservative Party.”

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Major conservatives have been pushing for more female MPs, but Kwarteng said he is not “a fan of the quota system” to increase their numbers.

Speaking to LBC Radio on Sunday, senior Labor MP Chris Bryant said that when he was first elected in 2001 he “was regularly influenced by older gay – they weren’t out – MPs,” adding: “I never felt like I was able to report it.” Because you end up being part of the story, and that’s the last thing you want.”

The Sunday Times reported a series of allegations, including that a member of Parliament is accused of licking the faces of male researchers at bars; that a Tory MP had received a ‘dick picture’ by a colleague; And another deputy has been warned against using sex workers.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsey Hoyle, has suggested that one way to protect staff is to change the current system that MPs use to hire their staff directly, rather than doing it centrally. He said he was considering creating an outside body to hire assistants as he moved to create a “speakers conference” that would bring lawmakers together to discuss comprehensive reform.

In Rayner’s letter to Johnson, she requested details of another claim in the Sunday Times, that at a Downing Street party in December 2020, an aide was awarded the “Sexist of the Year” award.

Rayner also wondered if this had been reported to Sue Gray, the senior government employee who is investigating alleged lockdown-breaking gatherings in parallel with the police investigation.

“You formally claimed this week that there is ‘no place’ for sexism in politics, yet there are now serious and credible allegations in the Sunday Times that not only did sexist behavior occur in your office, but that it was,” Rainer wrote:

“You are ultimately responsible for the culture and activism that occurs within Downing Street under your administration. If true, these allegations not only contradict your stated opposition to sexism, but set a bad example and should lead to further action.”

The uproar over institutional gender bias in politics began a week ago with a highly criticized story in the Mail on Sunday quoting unnamed Conservative Party MPs saying Rayner would cross her legs and unbend during Prime Minister questions to distract Boris Johnson.

The newspaper jumped to its defense this week, insisting that Rainer was the source for the tale and that it had been unfairly targeted by opponents of a free press. A Labor source said: “The sordid suggestion that Angela Rayner initiated a gender distortion against her must have been some kind of ridiculous joke.”

Parrish’s departure will pave the way for a second election to Tory’s safe seat in Tiverton and Honiton, and he still faces investigation by the Independent Complaints and Grievances System (ICGS).

This was the latest in a series of damning developments that the House of Commons has suffered in recent weeks.

Senior Labor MP Liam Byrne appointed to be suspended from the House of Commons for two days for bullying an employee; David Warburton pulled a Tory whip after allegations of sexual harassment and cocaine use surfaced. Ex-Tori Imran Ahmed Khan resigned after they were found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

The ICGS told MPs it was “seeing a similar trend” to the previous year when cases against 15 MPs began.

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