Anne-Marie Trevelyan tells male MPs to ‘keep hands in your pockets’, amid claims of sexual misconduct in parliament | Politics News


All women in parliament have been subjected to “wandering hands”, a female cabinet minister has said as she told male MPs “to keep your hands in your pockets”.

Speaking to Sky News, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said there were some men at Westminster who felt being elected made them “God’s gift to women” and that they can “please themselves”.

The Tory frontbencher also revealed she had once been “pinned up against a wall” by a male MP.

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Ms Trevelyan made her comments amid accusations of misogyny and sexual misconduct in parliament, including claims a Tory MP watched pornography in the Commons chamber.

“I think all of us as women in parliament have been subjected to inappropriate language, to you know, wandering hands as my granny used to call it. It doesn’t change,” she said.

“The vast majority of the men I work with are delightful, they are committed parliamentarians, they are passionate about the causes they fight.

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“But there are a few, for whom, too much drink or indeed a sort of a view that somehow being elected makes them, you know, God’s gift to women, that they can suddenly please themselves.

“That is never okay, that kind of behaviour, disrespect for women.”

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‘Behave as you would if you had your daughter in the room’

She added: “Fundamentally, if you’re a bloke, keep your hands in your pockets and behave as you would if you had your daughter in the room.”

She went on: “I’m very comfortable calling out anybody who thinks that their wandering hands are okay. And I have done it a number of times over the years.”

Ms Trevelyan later told LBC Radio: “I’ve witnessed and been at the sharp end of misogyny from some colleagues many times over.

“We might describe it as wandering hands, if you like, we might describe it as, you know, a number of years ago being pinned up against a wall by a male MP who is now no longer in the house, I’m pleased to say, declaring that I must want him because he was a powerful man.

“These sorts of things, these power abuses, that a very small minority, thank goodness, of male colleagues show is completely unacceptable.”

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Watching porn in Commons ‘unacceptable’, says PM

Watching porn in Commons ‘completely inappropriate’

Ms Trevelyan also branded claims a Conservative MP watched pornography in the Commons as “completely inappropriate behaviour”.

The politician in question has not been named publicly but two female Tory MPs informed the party’s chief whip during a meeting on Tuesday they had seen the male MP watching porn on his phone in the chamber.

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Tory chief whip, has ordered an investigation into the pornography allegations.

The allegations came in the wake of reports suggesting 56 MPs, including three cabinet ministers, are facing claims of sexual misconduct that have been referred to an official complaints service.

Meanwhile, a Mail on Sunday report citing anonymous Tory MPs – who claimed that Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner deliberately crossed and uncrossed her legs to distract Boris Johnson in the Commons – has sparked criticism across the political divide.

‘These behaviours do no good for politics’

Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the treasury told Sky News it had been a “bad week for politics”.

Opposition frontbencher Pat McFadden said: “These things seem out of time, and women today, whether in politics or journalism, or any other workplace, are clearly not going to put up with the kind of language and behaviour that we’ve seen this week, or that we might have seen years or decades ago.

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“If I had one conclusion from the whole thing it’s that all of this just seems out of time with the age we’re living in.

“It’s 2022, it’s not some time decades ago. So these behaviours do no good for politics and that matters, because this is the arena whereby the nation has to work out its problems.”


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