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Welsh MP suspended for sexual misconduct claims Tories ‘abandoned me’ when help needed

11 Jul 2023 4 minute read
Rob Roberts MP. Photo by David Woolfall is licensed under CC BY 3.0

An MP suspended for sexually harassing a member of staff has claimed the Conservative Party “abandoned me and lied to my face” when he needed help.

Rob Roberts said at one stage he was “balanced on the handrail of Westminster Bridge” but found the “will to step backwards instead of forwards and seek help”.

His remarks came as the House of Commons considered a Privileges Committee report that rebuked the conduct of Boris Johnson’s allies, who were accused of a “co-ordinated” attack on the initial inquiry into the former prime minister’s partygate denials to Parliament.

Mr Roberts said the debate was about “respect” for the House of Commons, its decisions, processes and committees before discussing his own case.

The MP for Delyn in north Wales said he believes the judgment in his case was wrong, but said he had not spoken out due to “respect for this House”.

In May 2021, MPs approved a motion to suspend Mr Roberts from the Commons for six weeks after he made repeated unwanted advances to a member of staff.

He apologised and said the “breach of trust” was “completely improper and should not have happened”.

Mr Roberts did not face the prospect of losing his seat given the way recall laws were drawn up at the time.

In November 2021, he was given his Tory membership back following a 12-week suspension but the Tory whip remains suspended, meaning he continues to sit as an Independent MP in the Commons.

Uniquely placed

Mr Roberts told the Commons: “I feel somewhat uniquely placed to comment on this subject as I have been investigated, found to have transgressed and been sanctioned by a process of this House, yet out of respect for this place I have remained silent.

“In May 2021 I was found to have broken the House’s sexual misconduct policy following a lengthy investigation and was suspended from the service of this House.

“I believed at the time the judgment was wrong. That remains my belief.

“I’ve been told a number of times that I can’t say anything about the situation which deviates from that which is in the report which I believe to be in error.

“And so out of respect for the House and its processes at significant personal cost, I have said nothing so as not to bring myself, the process or the House into disrepute.

“I feel comfortable only in saying I believe it to be an error and this is relatively self-evident given I appealed the decision in the first place.

“But other than saying the judgment was wrong, I make no further comment on the situation out of respect for the processes of this House.

“When I subsequently received death threats and demands for an explanation I told them nothing out of respect for the processes of this House.”

Mr Roberts suggested he had been shunned by other MPs, before adding: “When my own party abandoned me and lied to my face just at the point I was most in need of their help I said nothing out of respect for the processes of this House.”

Mr Roberts went on: “When at one particularly low point I find myself balanced on the handrail of Westminster Bridge I found the will to step backwards instead of forwards and seek help. A good friend from these benches intervened and I am in his debt.”

Mr Roberts said he has been in counselling for more than a year and praised the support he has received as part of this.

He later thanked members of the Privileges Committee for their service.

The Conservative Party has been approached for comment.


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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
7 months ago

A predator portrays himself as a victim….you couldnt make it up!

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
7 months ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

….and he was given counselling because he was all sad for being called out for making inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances…… sadly, we don’t need to invent such an absurdity, the Tory party is entirely capable of giving us endless horror. …..Amusing to me, is how he was taken aback at “his party” turning its back on him when he felt he needed it most and them lying to his face. Thats the thing about the kind of scum that are members of the Tory Mafia and vote for them, they always presume that they are in on it all… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Ditch the photo…

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

He should be seen so people can be aware of what a predator can look like……

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

The only help Rob Roberts needs is psychiatric. He shouldn’t even be an MP. When it was revealed he pressurised his male & female staff for sex only got six week slap on the wrist where today would have been suspended for eight weeks, been removed from offiice, and there should now be a by-election in his constituency, but this lump of lard hangs on like a bad smell.

Karl
Karl
7 months ago

He could resign. He was found guilty, faked saying sorry and now denies it “quietly”, via the press. His kind is why Westminster is a sickness. Don’t want to see anyone desperate to consider taking a swim in the Thames. But he keeps acting without honour, does anyone believe a word he says.

Marc
Marc
7 months ago

Get rid of him at the first possible opportunity

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
7 months ago

Jaci soch arall, a hwn yn un wirioneddol fochynaidd.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

In three consecutive paragraphs in reference to Westminster is the line ‘out of respect for the processes of this House’. The words of a sitting (independent but effectively Tory) MP from a Welsh constituency who does not respect any processes, decisions nor governance of OUR Parliament, Y Senedd, having requested at a recent PMQs that OUR elected government be put into ‘special measures’ thereby stamping out democracy in OUR country. He needs to learn to ‘respect’ and recognise the COUNTRY in which he sits as an MP and that it follows, as naturally as night does day, that it has… Read more »

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