MP reveals 'whisper list’ of predatory politicians who sexually harass women

Charlotte Nichols in the House of Commons, Westminster, asking an urgent question over the lockdown-busting Downing Street drinks party allegedly attended by Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie. Police are in contact with the Cabinet Office over claims that Martin Reynolds, a senior aide to the Prime Minister, organised a
Labour MP Charlotte Nichols said there was a list of 'around 40 MPs' to avoid in Westminster. (

An MP has said there is a "culture of impunity" in parliament when it comes to sexual harassment, claiming there is a secret list of "around 40 MPs" women are warned to avoid.

Charlotte Nichols, Labour MP for Warrington North, said the list came via a "whisper network" and that "some of the most dangerous people are the people you'd least expect".

"[I've been told] I should never accept a drink from him," Nichols, who entered parliament in 2019, told the BBC. "I should never be alone with him.

"I should never get in a lift with him – and I should try to avoid as far as possible to keep myself safe."

Read more: Labour MP quits Westminster after watchdog upholds sexual misconduct allegations

Nichols said the situation was "frightening" and that incidents often go unreported due to fear of retribution.

"I think I was quite staggered at how long the list was," she added. "Obviously there any 650 members of parliament... when you're looking at proportions of people who are kind of known dangers, that's really quite frightening.

"And... there are people who get added to that list all the time."

When asked by host Naga Munchetty if she felt "safe" doing her job in parliament, Nichols said she did not.

"I don't feel safe doing it," she said.

Former MP Imran Ahmad Khan arrives at Southwark Crown Court, south London, where he was jailed for 18 months for a single count of sexual assault against a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2022.
Imran Ahman Khan was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. (PA)

"I think there are a lot of things that you do to mitigate those risks... [but] I feel safest in my constituency."

In April, it emerged more than 50 sitting MPs from across various parties are being investigated for sexual misconduct amid wider concerns about a toxic culture at Westminster.

In July, two unions which represent more than 1,000 parliamentary workers wrote to House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle saying Westminster is not a safe place to work and warning of a “seemingly endless list of allegations of sexual misconduct by MPs”.

In September, two women alleged they had been assaulted by a cabinet minister and groped by a Number 10 aide.

Imran Ahmad Khan, Conservative MP for Wakefield, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in May after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy after giving him gin at a party in 2008.

Read more: Tory MP ‘watched porn on phone’ in House of Commons

In July, Boris Johnson was forced out of office after mass resignations from his government after it emerged that Tory MP Chris Pincher had been given a senior role in his government despite the then PM being aware of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Pincher has denied the allegations.

The frequency of incidents and allegations of sexual misconduct in Westminster has lead to it being dubbed 'Pestminster' in recent years.

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