Another Tory minister calls for disgraced MP to step down
Another Tory minister had called for a disgraced MP to step down.
Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, said it “would be better” if Rob Roberts MP now resigned.
He added that it would mean a “byelection can be called and somebody better able to represent that part of the country can be elected”, according to the Guido Fawkes website.
Roberts received a 6 week suspension from Parliament after he was found to have breached its sexual misconduct policy by the Independent Expert Panel.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House of Commons, has previously said it would be “honourable for the member to stand down”, and added that “it’s frankly ridiculous” an MP could be more harshly sanctioned for misuse of stationery than sexual misconduct.
He told the House the publicity around the matter could have an impact on the willingness of future complaints to come forward and acknowledged there have been concerns about the “discrepancy” between recall rules and complaints process.
There have been calls for UK Government to introduce emergency legislation to close a loophole that is preventing a by-election Roberts’ seat.
Suspensions of more than ten days usually trigger a recall petition and potentially a by-election if it is signed by enough voters in the constituency.
However, the panel that looked at the Roberts case was set up only last year, and the legislation covering recall rules was not amended to cover it.
Roberts has lost the Conservative Whip but has faced no further sanction from the party. He repeatedly propositioned a male aide, arranging one-on-one dinners with him and telling him that he should be “less alluring”. He also invited a 21-year-old female intern to “fool around”.