Rob Roberts: Tory MP should allow say on by-election after misconduct

The Independent Expert Panel (IEP) found Rob Roberts, MP for Delyn in North Wales, made repeated and unwanted sexual advances towards a man.

IEP chairman Sir Stephen Irwin said: “The misconduct demonstrated here was significant.”

Mr Roberts faces being suspended from the Commons for six weeks.

However, his constituents are unable to trigger a recall petition because this is only permitted after a report by a Commons committee, in particular the Standards Committee, rather than the IEP.

Chris Bryant, Labour MP and chairman of the Commons Standards Committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In most lines of work, this kind of behaviour would lead to being sacked summarily.

“It seems extraordinary that voters won’t have an opportunity to take a view on that until the next General Election in the Delyn constituency.

“And actually, if I were Mr Roberts, I would not want to be exploiting a loophole in this way simply to stay in Parliament.”

He continued: “Our committee does not hear allegations of bullying and sexual harrassment. That is only done by the Independent Expert Panel and unfortunately up until now the Government has not changed the law so as to include decisions from the IEP for triggering the act.

“That’s a glaring omission. It’s a preposterous situation and the Government should change it as fast as possible.”

Mr Roberts is understood to have had the Tory whip removed following the Independent Expert Panel’s report.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg is committed to bringing forward a motion on the suspension, Downing Street said.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here