If Damian Green is judged unfit to remain in government, why should he stay as an MP?
Published on 20 December 2017
Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women's Equality Party, said:
"That Damian Green regrets being asked to quit, despite accepting that he breached the ministerial code, shows how many lessons he still has to learn about taking responsibility for his conduct. If he is not suitable to be minister because of his actions then he is not suitable to be an MP. It is bizarre that both he and Michael Fallon, who also resigned from Cabinet, think they retain legitimacy to stay on in Parliament. That decision should be given to their constituents, with a proper system of recall introduced so that they can decide whether these men should still be representing them.
“The Conservatives and Labour continue to treat harassment and misconduct towards women as episodic issues that can be solved by demoting one or two ministers and suspending the whip from a few MPs, rather than a structural problem that needs far-reaching change to address. Parties should not be investigating themselves but appoint – as soon as possible – an independent body to adjudicate when harassment claims are made and to hold MPs to account. It is very odd that Parliament's working group on sexual harassment has still not reported back. Such an exercise should have been very straightforward.
“We salute Kate Maltby who, after being traduced in the media, has been fully vindicated after the investigation found that her account was ‘plausible’ and Green accepted – belatedly – that he made her feel uncomfortable.
“The Government and Opposition still have a long way to go to show that they are treating the harassment allegations against their MPs as anything other than an annoyance to be managed.”