An independent inquiry has found that staff in Parliament are unlikely to report bullying and harassment, for fear of reprisal or that nothing will happen.
The inquiry, conducted independently of Parliament bosses, was open to Members and their staff, staff of the House of Lords and cross-Parliament staff. Staff were given the opportunity to share their experience of bullying or harassment in complete confidence.
The report found that staff experienced bullying by other staff and Members. Testimony given to the inquiry included a significant number of accounts of sexual harassment towards both male and female staff.
The accounts include Lords grabbing a male staff member’s buttocks during voting, making unwelcome advances, and looking up women’s skirts.
None of the people who shared these experiences reported it for fear of reprisal or inaction.
The report has made a number of recommendations on changing “toxic” behaviours and enhancing the options available to staff who have been harassed.