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PM writes to Tory MPs urging 'culture of respect'

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
Theresa May has written to all Conservative MPs calling for a "new culture of respect" amid Westminster's sexual harassment scandal.
The Prime Minister told her party colleagues "now is the time to act decisively - without fear or favour" as she acknowledged "serious and concerning allegations" made in recent weeks.In her three-page letter, Mrs May updated Tory MPs on the action she has taken in the wake of the outbreak of claims against politicians and officials across political parties.This includes a new Conservative Party code of conduct and cross-party proposals to upgrade Parliament's safeguarding measures, which will be worked on together with parliamentary staff.She also appeared to respond to criticism of the way allegations have been handled by the Conservative Party, as she outlined the support available for "any colleague who comes into contact with the party's grievance procedure".At the weekend, the wife of MP Charlie Elphicke - who has been suspended by the Tories and reported to police - called for "an end to these kangaroo courts by political central offices".
PM writes to Tory MPs urging 'culture of respect'

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Charlie Elphicke's wife has criticised the Conservative Party's handling of allegations
Natalie Elphicke highlighted the death of Labour's Carl Sargeant, the sacked Welsh government minister who was found hanged amid allegations made against him, as she warned against the impact on those accused.Mr Elphicke claims action was taken against him by Tory officials without his knowledge of what he is accused.
In the letter, the Prime Minister revealed MPs, their staff and families are being offered round-the-clock support from the Conservative whips' office as well as support from health workers on their mental and physical wellbeing.Dedicated press support is also being provided by the Tories' central office.Mrs May wrote: "I recognise that these can be extremely difficult times, and I want to ensure that the health and wellbeing of colleagues and their staff is being looked after."
PM writes to Tory MPs urging 'culture of respect'

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6 November - New complaints system amid Westminster scandal
Calling for her MPs' support in "rising to that challenge" of tackling the harassment scandal as the "duty" of her Government, the Prime Minister outlined her hope new measures would also deal with unsubstantiated internet rumours against politicians.She added: "We need to establish a new culture of respect at the centre of our public life - one in which everyone can feel confident that they are working in a safe and secure environment where complaints can be brought forward without prejudice and victims know that those complaints will be investigated properly, and where people's careers cannot be damaged by unfounded rumours circulated anonymously online."Mrs May is still awaiting the outcome of a Cabinet Office investigation into allegations of impropriety against both her deputy Damian Green and international trade minister Mark Garnier.The scandal has recently threatened to enter Downing Street after a top TV producer claimed she was once groped in Number 10 during David Cameron's time as prime minister.
news.sky.com
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