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Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (Photo: Sky News)
A cabinet minister has denied there is a culture of misogyny in parliament despite increasing claims of sexual misconduct in Westminster.
Kwasi Kwarteng instead blamed the long intense hours in Westminster when quizzed about the mounting allegations surrounding MPs’ conduct.
It comes after Tory MP Neil Parish stood down after he was allegedly seen by two female MPs watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons chamber.
It prompted senior Tory MP Caroline Nokes to say her party is institutionally sexist and that there was a culture of “male entitlement” in the party.
But Business Secretary Kwarteng told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I don’t think there’s a culture of misogyny, I think the problem we have is that people are working in a really intense environment, there are long hours.
“And I think generally most people know their limits. They know how to act respectfully, but there are some instances where people don’t frankly act according to the highest standards.”
.@SophyRidgeSky: Is there a culture of misogyny in parliament?
Business Sec @KwasiKwarteng says there is "no culture of misogyny" but "the problem we have is people work in an intense environment with long hours".#Ridgehttps://t.co/77wdk4fQ6M
📺 Sky 501 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/DA0bsuy9jv
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday & The Take (@RidgeOnSunday) May 1, 2022
Kwarteng said Parish did the “right thing” by resigning and added: “He did something which in most other professions, you would be sacked for doing and he voluntarily resigned and I think his position was very difficult.”
It comes amid reports that 56 MPs are currently facing sexual misconduct investigations, including three cabinet ministers and two shadow cabinet ministers.
The Sunday Times has also outlined a number of claims against MPs today, including a senior MP accused of repeatedly licking the faces of male researchers in parliamentary bars.
Other allegations include a female Tory MP who was sent an explicit photograph, known as a “dick pic”, by a male colleague and another MP repeatedly warned about his use of prostitutes, according to sources.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.