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Thursday 19 July 2018

The House of Commons is once again letting down victims of harassment, says FDA

Andrea Leadsom’s steering group on the new Independent Complaints and Grievance Procedure has now published its report and will ask MPs to vote to introduce the new policy on Thursday 19 July.

Ahead of the vote, FDA Assistant General Secretary Amy Leversidge said:

“We have been explicit in our criticism of the new proposals and repeatedly called for the introduction of the policy to be paused so fundamental flaws can be addressed.

“The policy will not consider any cases from before the 2017 general election and cases between the election and the introduction of the new scheme will only be investigated, not sanctioned. This means victims will not be able to access justice and past behaviour cannot be evidenced to support future cases. Placing these arbitrary restrictions on past cases has no legal basis and serves only to protect MPs accused of bullying.

“The fact that MPs on the Committee on Standards will make the final decision on any serious sanctions also means that MPs will still be marking their own homework - which has been proven again and again not to work.

“Additionally, Dame Laura Cox’s inquiry into bullying and harassment, launched by Andrea Leadsom herself, isn’t due to be published until September. With such a substantial piece of evidence still to be delivered, it makes no sense for the steering group to rush to get their incomplete proposals before the House.

“It is clear that this policy should be paused so we can get it right from the start. The price of introducing a flawed and incomplete policy is a heavy one, and it will be paid by the victims.”
Notes for editors
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2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

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