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MPs urged to report colleague who ‘propositioned young female interns’ to Parliament’s sleaze watchdog as Rishi Sunak admits claims about APPG foreign trips are ‘very concerning’

  • MPs are being urged to report a colleague to Parliament’s sleaze watchdog
  • They are alleged to have propositioned young female interns on a foreign trip
  • PM admits reported behaviour of MPs on APPG visits is ‘clearly very concerning’ 

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MPs have been urged to report a colleague to Parliament’s sleaze watchdog after they allegedly propositioned young female interns on a foreign trip.

The allegation is the latest in a series of lurid claims about the activities of MPs and peers on visits abroad arranged by All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs).

On a trip to a country that is a major ally of Britain, an MP is claimed to have been told off for repeatedly propositioning young female interns who were helping to organise the tour.

Senior Labour MP Chris Bryant, the chair of the House of Commons’ Standards Committee, has now called on any MP who witnessed such behaviour to report it to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

Other allegations about the activities of MPs and peers on APPG trips includes claims that parliamentarians have asked for directions to brothels, hired sex workers, and failed to attend meetings after drinking heavily.

Rishi Sunak has admitted the reported behaviour of MPs on APPG trips is ‘clearly very concerning’, although the Prime Minister has pointed to how the regulation of APPGs is a matter for Parliament.

The allegation is the latest in a series of lurid claims about the activities of MPs and peers on visits abroad arranged by All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs)

The allegation is the latest in a series of lurid claims about the activities of MPs and peers on visits abroad arranged by All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs)

Senior Labour MP Chris Bryant has called on any MP who witnessed such behaviour to report it to Parliament's Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS)

Senior Labour MP Chris Bryant has called on any MP who witnessed such behaviour to report it to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS)

Rishi Sunak has admitted the reported behaviour of MPs on APPG trips is 'clearly very concerning'

Rishi Sunak has admitted the reported behaviour of MPs on APPG trips is ‘clearly very concerning’

APPGs are informal cross-party groups, run by and for MPs and peers, which campaign on specific topics.

There are more than 700 APPGs, of which around 130 are dedicated to specific countries and these often arrange lavish visits to those nations for their members.

Fears have been expressed that politicians are leaving themselves open to blackmail through misbehaviour abroad, with concerns that hostile states might obtain incriminating evidence.

Amid the allegations about APPG visits, it has been reported that MPs on a visit to a foreign dictatorship were met at their hotel by sex workers.

There is no suggestion the MPs knew the prostitutes would be there, or that they used their services.

APPGs hold no official status within Parliament and do not act on behalf of either the Commons or Lords or the Government.

Mr Bryant has revealed that MPs who were recently surveyed about his committee’s proposals to tighten regulation around APPGs had rejected the plans.

The committee is set to meet again in the next fortnight to discuss how to proceed.

‘We have too many APPGs, there are more APPGs than there are MPs,’ Mr Bryant told The Times.

‘But there’s no monitoring of them really. It would be awfully easy if somebody wants to get up to no good through an APPG.’

Commenting on the latest claim about an MP’s alleged behaviour towards young interns, the Labour MP added: ‘Any MP who witnessed that must report that to the ICGS, otherwise our commitment to anti-harassment is a mockery.

‘The days when we brushed all these things under the carpet are gone.’

A spokesperson for Mr Sunak said yesterday: ‘We’ve seen some of the reports over the Christmas period and just before and some of the behaviour reported is clearly very concerning.

‘The PM believes that MPs should be working hard for the public and the broad majority are focused on trying to solve our shared challenges – whether that be supporting the most vulnerable or working to make our schools better and streets safer.

‘The regulation around APPGs is a matter for the House and I would point out the Standards Committee is conducting an ongoing inquiry into APPGs.

‘But the process around them is a matter for the House rather than the Government.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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