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‘Worst year on record’ MPs ‘will continue’ to break rules, says Commons standards chair

News‘Worst year on record’ MPs ‘will continue’ to break rules, says Commons standards chair

Chris Bryant MP spoke to Sky News in light of the most recent parliamentary scandal, in which Neil Parish MP is alleged to have watched pornography in the House of Commons. Though he declared that he could not currently speak on that issue, given he might have to investigate Mr Parish, he accused Parliament of a “system of impunity” where MPs “think well there aren’t any rules”.

Mr Bryant told Sky News: “Parliament should have better standards. If you look at this past year, it must be the worst year on record.” 

He claimed that there had been “two MPs found guilty in a court of law of something that could send them to prison for a prolonged period.

“You’ve got three former MPs facing charges and awaiting trial. You’ve had one MP in this Parliament who had to resign because he’d been found guilty of paid lobbying. And then the whole of Parliament tried to protect him. 

“I think the biggest thing here is you cannot have a system of impunity. If MPs think they will get away with these things, then of course it will continue.

“The worst of that, I would argue, is if the Prime Minister gets away with lying to Parliament and breaking the law, the danger is MPs will think well there aren’t any rules and they can do whatever they want. 

“[Mr Johnson] is the first Prime Minister in our history to be given a criminal sanction, and then he tries to protect his mate Owen Paterson. 

“I will fight to the death to make sure the reputation of Parliament is enhanced for every generation of MPs.”

READ MORE: Tory MP reveals she was ‘pinned up against a wall by a male MP’ [REVEAL] 

He is now the subject of two inquiries. The first will be conducted by Kathryn Stone, the Commons standards commissioner, and the second will be run by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. 

There are a range of possible repercussions that the governing bodies could apply, among them are a suspension or exclusion from Parliament. 

The newest set of allegations has reignited complaints about the culture of sexism and misogyny in the House of Commons. 

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade minister, said she had been “pinned up against a wall” by a male MP in Parliament. 

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