Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson has said that Parliament and Holyrood’s “toxic” workplace will put women off politics.
Davidson said that Parliament looks like a “toxic workplace for women”, after allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour have emerged.
Over recent weeks, a number of MPs and Westminster staff have been accused of sexual harassment.
At least seven Conservative members, including Michael Fallon, Stephen Crabb and Mark Garnier, are all facing allegations of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment.
In the Labour Party, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Clive Lewis MP, and Ivan Lewis MP has also been accused of sexual harassment. Carl Sargaent, a former Welsh government minister was also facing allegations and was later found dead in his home.
Theresa May’s second in command, Damian Green has been accused of making sexual advances to a young Conservative member, and police are believed to be investigating allegations of pornographic material found on one of his Commons’ computers.
It has also been reported that female researchers, secretaries and aides working in Westminster have a secret WhatsApp group to name ‘sex-pest’ MPs.
The group is said to have accused politicians, MPs and cabinet members of being “very handsy” and “not safe” in taxis or lifts.
Davidson has now warned that these scandals will put women off a career in politics.
Davidson said, “The concern…is that the events of the last few weeks may set us back.”
“Our political institutions are in danger of gaining a reputation as a toxic workplace for women.”
“Let me make my position plain – we need to throw open the doors on what has gone on in the past.”
“We need to flood the dark corners of Parliament – and politics in general – with the disinfectant of sunshine.”
“We ask our political representatives to do a professional job; the very least they should expect is a professional workplace with decent HR practices in which to function.”
“We need to address those misdeed because we cannot let them put off the next generation of lawmakers.”