In an open letter made public today, Centre for Women’s Justice and its clients have called on the administration of the House of Commons to implement Dame Laura Cox’s proposed reforms in full and make Westminster a safe place of work for women.
In a letter addressed to the House of Commons Commission last Wednesday, Centre for Women’s Justice insisted that its clients demand ‘swift and proactive’ change, to include the creation of a 'truly independent mechanism' to hear all formal complaints by House staff of bullying, harassment and sexual assault committed against them by Members. The Centre also demanded that historic complaints must be re-opened to ensure if past victims are to be heard, and lessons learned.
Centre for Women’s Justice echoes Dame Laura’s conclusion that an entirely independent complaints process is the only possible mechanism of ensuring accountability for the abuse of women by Members of Parliament, who ‘for so long’ have enjoyed impunity for their behaviour. Dame Laura’s damning report, published last Monday, concluded that the House of Commons had become 'a corrosive culture, in which bullying and harassment, in particular of women, have become normalised’.
The letter, which represents the views of a number of female employees and former employees of the House of Commons, was also sent to the Executive Board and the Director General of the House, the Clerk to the House, and the Speaker’s Office.
The House of Commons Commission will meet this week to discuss its response to the Cox report.
The letter can be seen below or downloaded here - HoC_letter.pdf