Boris Johnson says sexual misconduct ‘ground for dismissal’ as frontbencher accused of watching porn in Commons

Boris Johnson has agreed that sexual misconduct would be “grounds for dismissal” amid claims a frontbencher watched porn in the Commons.

Conservative whips are investigating after a Tory MP was accused of watching the adult video on his mobile phone in the House of Commons chamber, as well as in a committee.

The accusation was made during a meeting of the 2022 on Tuesday – the female grouping of the 1922 group of Conservative backbench MPs.

Around 50 to 60 female Conservative MPs are said to have been present at the meeting, with two having witnessed the incident.

An MP has been accused of watching pornography in the Commons

The women have subsequently spoken to the chief whip and named the man.

Speaking in the Commons, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) said: “Fifty six members of this House are under investigation for sexual misconduct. That includes three of his [Mr Johnson’s] Cabinet ministers.

“The Prime Minister has just rightly said that there can be no place for sexism and misogyny in this House, so can he now confirm whether he considers that sexual harassment, apparently unlike bullying and lying, is grounds for dismissal under the ministerial code?”

The Prime Minister replied: “Of course sexual harassment is intolerable and it is quite right that members should now have a procedure by which they can bring that to the attention of the House authorities and I think that is a good thing, and of course it is grounds for dismissal.”

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Others in attendance at the meeting included Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden, Commons Leader Mark Spencer and former prime minister Theresa May.

Chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris is now looking into the “wholly unacceptable” allegations, with a spokeswoman vowing on Wednesday that “action will be taken”.

A Conservative whip’s office spokeswoman said: “The chief whip is looking into this matter.

“This behaviour is wholly unacceptable and action will be taken.”

The meeting came amid reports that 56 MPs, including three Cabinet ministers, are facing allegations of sexual misconduct referred to the Independent Complaints and Grievances Scheme.

It also follows outrage over The Mail On Sunday publishing “sexist” and disputed claims from unnamed Tory MPs that deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner tried to distract Mr Johnson with her legs during Prime Minister’s Questions.

However, aides to Mr Johnson insisted the Tory party did not have a problem with misogyny and sexism.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary said: “You will have heard the PM address this explicitly in Parliament today and over the last few days, saying there is absolutely no place for such behaviour and this cannot be tolerated in any workplace.”

Labour said it would be a "sackable offence" for MPs to watch pornography in the Commons chamber.

It comes as Mr Johnson was branded an “ostrich” with his head in the sand over the cost-of-living crisis by Sir Keir Starmer.

The Labour leader told Prime Minister’s Questions: “Mr Speaker, he’s an ostrich, perfectly happy keeping his head in the sand. Working people are worried about paying their bills, they’re spending less and cutting back – that’s bad for business and bad for growth.”

Mr Johnson replied: “What we’re doing for working people is not only lifting the living wage by a record amount, helping people on Universal Credit with a £1,000 tax cut, but also cutting national insurance contributions.”

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