From The Guardian: Theresa May is under pressure to explain whether she knew about allegations of “extreme bullying” against the disgraced former minister Andrew Griffiths when she promoted him to government within days of becoming prime minister.
Griffiths, the prime minister’s former chief of staff who was forced to resign as a minister for sending hundreds of sexually explicit messages to two women, had been accused of bullying a council leader for several years when May took office in July 2016.
The complaints are understood to include claims that the Tory MP sent abusive text messages to Richard Grosvenor, the leader of the Tory-run East Staffordshire borough council.
Despite the complaint being acknowledged by Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ) in emails up to January 2016, Grosvenor said his allegations were never properly investigated.
Six months later, in July 2016, Griffiths was appointed lord commissioner of the Treasury and senior government whip in May’s first government.
[Read full article on Guardian website…]
From The Guardian: Andrew Griffiths, the minister for small business, has resigned from the government after being found to have sent more than 2,000 explicit messages to two women in his constituency.
The Conservative MP for Burton, and Theresa May’s former chief of staff, released a statement saying apologising for what he had done, after the texts were put to him by the Sunday Mirror.
In the statement, the 47-year-old junior minister said: “I am deeply ashamed at my behaviour which has caused untold distress to my wife and family, to whom I owe everything, and deep embarrassment to the prime minister and the government I am so proud to serve.
He said he would be seeking professional help to address his unacceptable behaviour sending sex texts. “I do not seek to excuse my behaviour and will be seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again.
[Read full article on Guardian website…]
From Wales Online: Tory MP Stephen Crabb has been referred to the Conservatives’ disciplinary panel following claims he sent “explicit” texts to a 19-year-old woman who had applied to work in his office in 2013.
[Read full article on Wales Online…]
From The Observer: The dramatic circumstances of Michael Fallon’s sudden resignation as defence secretary last week can be revealed by the Observer.
The cabinet heavyweight’s shock departure on Wednesday followed a phone call from the journalist, Jane Merrick, who informed Downing Street that he had lunged at her and attempted to kiss her on the lips in 2003 after they had lunched together.
The revelation was the tipping point for No 10, which the Observer understands had been compiling a list of alleged incidents involving Fallon since claims against him were first made. Read more
From Evolve Politics: Michael Fabricant, the Tory MP for Lichfield, has controversially suggested that politicians who are drunk should not be accused of committing serious sexual assaults such as rape.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Fabricant said that people who commit acts of sexual assault should be considered ‘blameless’ if ‘everyone was sloshed at the time’.
Whilst admitting that ‘you sometimes get’ drunk people being accused of committing sexual assault, Fabricant went on to say ‘we’ve got to be very careful that we don’t get into that situation’ – blaming a ‘growing witch hunt mentality’ for the recent allegations of sexual assault.
The MP also dismissed recent allegations of sexual assault as just rumours.
[Read full article on Evolve Politics website…]
From Metro: Tory Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon has resigned, saying soldiers would not be allowed to behave in the way he has in the past. The minister was caught up in the sexual harassment scandal engulfing Westminster after it emerged he repeatedly put his hand on a journalist’s knee during a party conference dinner in 2002.
[Read full article on Metro website…]
From the London Evening Standard: Senior Tory MPs blocked moves to give Commons researchers and secretaries extra protection from sexual harassment, it has been revealed.
[Read full article on Evening Standard website…]
From The Independent: Labour MPs have branded David Davis “disgusting” and a “misogynist” over remarks he made about Diane Abbott MP implying she wasn’t attractive enough to kiss.
[Read article on Independent website…]