A culture of mutual respect and accountability benefits everyone and all the political parties need to wake up to that, across the board, writes Caroline Lucas MP
Westminster is the first parliament anywhere in the world to so comprehensively try to tackle bullying, harassment and sexual harassment with its new code of conduct, but Kate Maltby and Ava Etemadzadeh (MPs must end the culture of harassment, 17 July) are correct: there’s still a risk that self-interest and party political influence could scupper further progress.
As a member of the working group developing parliament’s new policies and procedures, I have seen first-hand how risk averse the bigger parties in particular are when it comes to reparations and sanctions for individuals bringing historic cases. And while some voluntary training is now available, mandatory training for MPs in consent and how to be a good employer is being delayed until after the next election. This is apparently on the grounds that nobody knew they’d have to participate in such training when they stood for election. Well frankly, nobody knew they’d be expected to put up with groping or furniture being thrown at them when they applied to work in Westminster.