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Welsh Tory MP won’t be dismissed over ‘unacceptable’ texts to young intern

08 Apr 2021 2 minute read
Rob Roberts. Picture by David Woolfall (CC BY 3.0).

A Welsh Tory MP won’t be dismissed over “unacceptable” texts to a young intern.

An investigation by the Conservative Party into messages from Rob Roberts, the MP for Delyn, to the 21-year-old intern, inviting her to “fool around”, concluded that they were “unacceptable” but he will not face dismissal over his behavior.

Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) began an inquiry into Roberts’ behaviour in July 2020 after complaints that he had sexually harassed a young woman working in parliament.

The probe was prompted after the BBC reported he sent WhatsApp messages to an intern asking her to “fool around with no strings” and commenting that she had “lovely legs.”

A Conservative Party spokeswoman told POLITICO: “Rob Roberts’ conduct was found to be unacceptable under the party’s code of conduct and he has been strongly rebuked.

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

Correspondence between CCHQ and one of the MP’s constituents that has been seen by POLITICO revealed that the inquiry finished at least three weeks ago. However it claimed the outcome could not be shared for reasons of confidentiality.

An email from the Conservative Party’s complaints department said: “The party takes these matters very seriously, and we would like to reassure you that when we have been made aware of these cases, we act decisively — launching immediate investigations and taking further action when appropriate.

“Whilst I’m afraid I cannot go into further detail at this time due to the confidential nature of the process, I can confirm the case is now closed.”

Throughout the nine-month inquiry Roberts has retained the Conservative Party whip, voting and speaking from the Tory benches.

Anne Milton, former Conservative deputy chief whip, said: “These things shouldn’t take longer than five or six weeks — it’s outrageous, both for the accused and the accuser. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

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