Tory MP who asked female intern to 'fool around' with him will not be sacked


A Tory MP who pestered an intern to “fool around” with him will not be sacked from the party whip, the Conservatives have said.

The Conservatives said Delyn MP Rob Roberts had been “strongly rebuked” for his conduct, which was deemed “unacceptable”.

The 41-year-old has been ordered to do “safeguarding and social media protection training” but he will not face dismissal.

The Tories launched a probe last year after WhatsApp messages emerged showing Mr Roberts inviting a young female parliamentary intern to “fool around” with him.

In messages sent in April last year, obtained by the BBC, Mr Roberts allegedly said the woman had “lovely legs” in a Twitter image and told her “don’t ignore me when I’m making you feel better”.



The office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is conducting a separate investigation into Rob Roberts' conduct
The office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is conducting a separate investigation into Rob Roberts’ conduct

He suggested she should “fool around with no strings, you might come and visit me in London”.

The woman told the MP she was in an “awful state” and struggling with her mental health, according to the messages obtained by the BBC.

He responded: “I was just thinking about fun times… Maybe if you thought of them too it might help you.”

The woman told BBC Wales on Thursday that Mr Roberts should have lost the whip, which he retained during the inquiry.

“He’s gotten away with it, and that’s not acceptable,” she said.

Mr Roberts also faced separate allegations that he asked out a male employee and made inappropriate comments, with the man later changing jobs.

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It is understood that no official complaints were made to the Conservatives by anyone claiming to have been sexually harassed, and it acted after an approach from a third party.

CCHQ does not make decisions on who loses the whip – which means an MP is kicked out of the party and sits an independent.

Mr Roberts, who won his seat from Labour in the 2019 election, faces a separate investigation by the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Charlotte Nichols, Labour MP for Warrington South, tweeted last year that she had reported Mr Roberts via the third-party reporting line and called on the Tories to remove the whip.

A Conservative Party spokesman said the investigation into Mr Roberts’ conduct on all the allegations has concluded.

“Rob Roberts’ conduct was found to be unacceptable under the party’s code of conduct and he has been strongly rebuked,” the spokesperson said.

“Mr Roberts has apologised for his behaviour and was instructed to undertake safeguarding and social media protection training.”

Mr Roberts has been approached for comment.





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