A 2018 report commissioned after a series of Westminster sex scandals found British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party almost said on Wednesday it was looking into reports that a lawmaker watched pornography on his phone in the room debate in the House of Commons.
Two British newspapers reported that a male Tory MP was seen by colleagues watching pornography in Parliament.
The issue of sexism in Parliament has come to the fore in recent days after a Sunday newspaper published an article in which an unnamed Tory lawmaker claimed that the deputy leader of the opposition Labor Party, Angela Rayner, had sought to distracting Johnson in Parliament by crossing and uncrossing his legs.
Johnson called the comments misogyny. Rayner said she was “discomfited.”
Conservative Chief Whip Chris Heaton-Harris, who is responsible for enforcing party discipline, is investigating complaints about pornography, his office said in a statement.
“This behavior is totally unacceptable and action will be taken,” said a spokesman for the government whips office.
The Sun and the Mirror reported the accusation emerged at a meeting of Tory MPs on Tuesday evening, where female lawmakers shared stories of sexism and harassment from their colleagues.
It follows a Sunday Times report that 56 MPs, including three senior ministers, are facing allegations of sexual misconduct after being reported to a parliamentary watchdog.
Asked by an opposition MP on Wednesday whether those ministers should be sacked, Johnson told parliament: ‘Sexual harassment is intolerable and it is only right that members now have a procedure by which they can bring this to the attention of the highest authorities… and of course that is grounds for dismissal.”
A 2018 report commissioned after a series of sex scandals in Westminster found nearly one in five people working in Parliament had been sexually harassed or witnessed inappropriate behavior in the previous year.
This called for a radical change in culture.