Tory MP ‘watched porn on phone’ in House of Commons

·Political Correspondent, Yahoo News UK
·3 min read
Celebrities and people from around the world with lived experience of being a refugee in the UK, join activists, volunteers and members of the Together With Refugees coalition, on a boat as it sails past the Houses of Parliament, central London, showing solidarity with refugees and putting pressure on MPs to challenge key aspects of the Nationality and Border Bill, as it faces another vote in the House of Commons. Picture date: Wednesday April 20, 2022. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
An investigation has been launched after reports a Conservative MP watched pornography in the House of Commons. (Getty Images)

Boris Johnson’s spokesman has said sexual harassment “cannot be tolerated” following allegations a Tory MP watched pornography on a mobile phone in parliament.

On Wednesday, the Mirror reported a government frontbencher watched pornographic footage while sitting next to a female MP in the House of Commons.

The incident, corroborated by three separate sources, was revealed at a meeting of the 2022 group of around 40-50 Tory MPs, which includes Conservative party chair Oliver Dowden, and Commons leader Mark Spencer.

Swiftly after the reports emerged, Conservative chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris launched an investigation into the allegations.

Read more: Diane Abbott targets Mail on Sunday journalist who wrote Angela Rayner article

"The chief whip is looking into this matter," his office announced on Wednesday morning. "This behaviour is wholly unacceptable and action will be taken. "

It comes after reports emerged that three ministers and two shadow cabinet ministers are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, with 56 MPs being investigated in total.

Speaking during prime minister's questions, Boris Johnson told MPs that sexual harassment is grounds for direct dismissal under the ministerial code when he challenged over the reports.

“Sexual harassment is intolerable and it’s quite right that members should now have a procedure by which they can bring that to the attention of the highest authorities," the prime minister said.

Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner taking part in a Challah bake-off hosted by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as part of his Shabbat UK project, at the Central United Synagogue in London. Picture date: Tuesday April 26, 2022.
Misogynistic comments by Tory MPs published in the Mail on Sunday have triggered a national conversation about sexual harassment in parliament. (PA)

Johnson's spokesperson rejected suggestions that sexual harassment is an issue within the Conservative party.

The developments come after the Mail on Sunday published a story in which anonymous Tory MPs claimed deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner attempts to put the prime minister "off his stride" by crossing her legs at prime minister's questions.

The MPs reportedly used a crude comparison to Sharon Stone in the 1992 film Basic Instinct.

“I won’t be letting their vile lies deter me. Their attempts to harass and intimidate me will fail,” Rayner tweeted on Sunday.

Read more: Speaker rebuffed by Mail On Sunday editor over Rayner story meeting

“I’ve been open about how I’ve had to struggle to get where I am today.“I’m proud of my background, I’m proud of who I am and where I’m from - but it’s taken time.”

On Wednesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told the House of Commons: “I know the prime minister will have whipped his backbenchers to scream and shout - and that is fine.

"But I hope he has also sent a clear message that there is no place for sexism and misogyny or looking down on people because of where they come from in his party, in this House, or in modern Britain.”

The article in the Mail on Sunday has sparked a national conversation about misogyny in Westminster, which has previously been dubbed 'Pestminster' due to frequent reports of sexual harassment happening on the parliamentary estate.

Read more: Angela Rayner says ‘sexist’ and ‘classist’ article implied she was ‘thick’

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting