I was groped by five MPs, says Labour’s Chris Bryant

Senior Labour MP Sir Chris Bryant has claimed he has has been repeatedly groped by male colleagues during his time in parliament.

In one of incidents detailed in a new book, Sir Chris said one MP forced him up against a wall and felt his crotch.

Mr Bryant, who chairs the Commons standards committee, has called for an overhaul in the system for investigating MPs suspecting of misconduct.

“Over the years five male MPs have felt my bottom uninvited. One of them, who was not out, did so repeatedly,” he wrote.

“Another, who is still in the House and still does not accept that he is gay, pushed me against a wall and felt my crotch.”

The MP added: “Another rubbed himself behind me in the queue to vote and was later snogging two men in the Strangers’ Bar. I know other gay MPs and staff who have faced the same.”

The 61-year-old had previously said he was “regularly touched up” by older MPs when he first joined parliament, but never felt he was able to report it.

He told LBC last year: “I was regularly touched up by older, senior, gay – they weren’t out – MPs. I never felt I was able to report it because you end up being part of the story, and that’s the last thing you want. And I think a lot of women have been through that.”

In his book Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament – and How to Do it, Mr Bryant said voters should accept “good enough” MPs, rather expecting them to be perfect.

Chris Bryant received a knighthood in the New Year Honours (PA Archive)
Chris Bryant received a knighthood in the New Year Honours (PA Archive)

The senior MP, knighted in the New Year’s honours, admitted that there had been times in which he had got his “facts wrong”. He said that in the “whirligig of politics has spun so fast I haven’t corrected the record”.

The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) was established in 2018 in the wake of the Me Too movement to deal with complaints against MPs.

But it has come into for serious criticism over the pace of its investigations. Both the Tory and Labour whips have also been attacked for failing to act appropriately on complaints.

Labour MP Charlotte Nichols said she was warned of a group of around 30 MPs she should stay away from when elected in 2019 – saying there was something “deeply rotten” in the Westminster culture.

MPs and peers accused of sexual offences or violent behaviour could be banned from being on the parliamentary estate under new rules.

The Commons authorities have proposed to block colleagues from coming into parliament or going on committee trips if they are being investigated by police over wrongdoing.