Minister and No 10 aide face accusations of sexual misconduct

·2-min read
The Houses of Parliament (Anthony Devlin/PA) (PA Archive)
The Houses of Parliament (Anthony Devlin/PA) (PA Archive)

A Cabinet minister and a senior No 10 aide in Boris Johnson’s Government are facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sky News has reported the allegations of two women, detailing how they were allegedly assaulted and groped by figures within the Government.

The accusations come as Mr Johnson prepares to end his tenure as Prime Minister, which was brought to a halt after the Chris Pincher scandal.

One woman told Sky News she was “sexually assaulted by someone who is now a Cabinet minister”.

She added: “I was in my early 20s and didn’t really know how to deal with it.

“I was super drunk, he is feeding me more wine and I am already quite obviously tanked, but after a while I was like ‘You know what? Would you mind if I just went to bed?’ So I went to bed, but obviously he didn’t leave me alone.”

A second woman said she was working at a Conservative event when she was groped, adding: “I turned around and this guy was just looking right at me.”

She complained and raised it again when the man was due to get a top job in No 10, but “nothing happened”.

Responding to the allegations about a Cabinet minister, a Government spokesman said: “We take allegations of misconduct extremely seriously and there are robust procedures in place to raise concerns. All ministerial appointments also follow established processes.”

On allegations that a No 10 aide groped a different woman, the spokesman said: “All prospective government employees are subject to necessary checks and vetting. We do not comment on individuals.”

If a complaint is made, it should be properly investigated

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake

A Conservative spokesman told Sky News the party has an “established code of conduct and complaints procedure where people can report complaints in confidence”.

“We take any complaint seriously,” they added.

In July, Mr Johnson’s demise was triggered by how he handled accusations of inappropriate behaviour by former deputy chief whip Mr Pincher.

Sky News did not name either of the men accused of sexual misconduct in order to protect the alleged victims.

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake told Sky News’ Kay Burley he does not think sexual harassment is “cultural” in Westminster, but stressed that when a complaint is made, it should be “thoroughly investigated”.

The MP for Thirsk and Malton said: “It should be fully investigated if a complaint is made. Absolutely. I don’t believe it’s cultural. But clearly in a cohort of 650 people you are going to see some poor behaviour and, where that exists, and a complaint is made, it should be thoroughly investigated, and most people held to account.”

He added: “I don’t think it’s cultural in Westminster. But nevertheless one complaint like this is one complaint too many. If a complaint is made, it should be properly investigated.”