Theresa May asks Jeremy Corbyn to police himself

By Lauren Burrows , CNN London Written by

A letter from British Prime Minister Theresa May to the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn has revealed the plans the UK government has for toughening up rules for lawmakers after allegations of sexual harassment by politicians.

The letter, released Monday evening, marks a turnaround for the political parties, which had initially opposed further reform, but now feel the need to show they are taking the issue seriously.

In the letter, signed by May and seen by CNN, the Prime Minister says she and the leader of the opposition both support the integrity review set up by the parliament.

“Your (Theresa May’s) personal review into how Parliament can deliver more transparency and openness in relation to members and staff has been done in a spirit of cooperation, transparency and above all the commitment to find a lasting solution to the concerns that have been raised,” May said in the letter.

The inquiry by speaker John Bercow is designed to secure greater accountability for members and prevent further scandals after the recent allegations surrounding a string of lawmakers from both major parties.

The Sunday Times reported in December that Bercow had repeatedly blocked attempts by Labour MP Naz Shah to be disciplined over allegations she used Twitter to post anti-Semitic tweets.

Shah denied any wrongdoing at the time, however the report fueled public suspicion that Britain’s political system might not offer a safe haven for people who crossed the boundary between thought and action.

On Saturday, new evidence emerged of former minister Tracey Crouch’s response to the scandals, suggesting the minister’s reaction was a sign of the extent to which Parliament must tackle the issue of sexual misconduct.

The Independent reported in December that “Sources close to Mrs Crouch have confirmed that despite allegations that she sent suggestive ‘flirtatious’ messages to an ex-consultant working for the Cabinet Office who had complained about the behaviour of the minister, Crouch continued to ask him out after the allegations were raised.”

But Crouch denied such claims in her Facebook post, denying any wrongdoing on her part.

“I reacted the way I did because, looking back, I know I was struggling to process many personal and professional issues in my life,” she wrote.

“For that I apologise, and it is always important for people to speak out about inappropriate behavior, in whatever sector.

“My concern for anybody who experiences inappropriate behavior will never waver, nor do I believe I did anything wrong in the circumstances.”

Leave a Comment